Horse-Drawn Carriage Controversy Hits Memphis

(Memphis) Christian Dollar and his horse, Lightning, know every inch of Main Street.

“It’s a great way to see any city, even going through Starry Nights it was better than the cars,” said Dollar.

Dollar and many others are keeping an eye on what’s happening in New York City, where horse after horse have gotten spooked by all the traffic in the middle of Manhattan.

It’s led to protests and carriage rides now banned in the Big Apple, and sparked a national debate on the humanity of pulling tourists through busy streets.

“You cannot put a horse in traffic without extensive training. Our horses are taught to pay attention, but not react to an ambulance, bus, a concrete mixer,” said Jake Schorr, a local carriage company owner.

Schorr first brought horse-drawn carriages to Memphis 35 years ago. He said this country was built on horses.

Memphis saw a horse scare near the Peabody in recent years, but Schorr says there are more horses here than anywhere else with little to no problems.

Most tourists call New York’s move extreme.

“It’s a horse, it’s no strain for him to pull this carriage. They’re very strong,” said Randall Eller of Little Rock.

12 comments

  • Mike Miles

    Those poor horses will be out there in the cold on New Years Eve. I can guarantee it!!!! My girlfriend has to work in that cold. It’s mandatory!!!

    • Nonya Bidness

      They are animals, they live outside. Do you think for one minute that the owner of the business is going to let something bad happen to his livelihood? Please …..

      As far as work being mandatory, slavery was abolished long ago. If you don’t like your working conditions ….. quit.

      • Mike Miles

        Excuse me Nonya, but watch the video again. The owners said the horses weren’t out there because of the cold. It will be colder tonight and watch them be out there for the almighty dollar.

  • Cary Miller

    All you have to do is witness these horses pulling the carriages long hours in the Memphis heat of July to know this is inhumane, and also dangerous in Memphis traffic. This has been an issue here for at least three decades, because of our increasing traffic, including the trolleys, and it’s time to bring a halt to it.

    • Mike Miles

      My sister documented many violations of the horses in summer heat. No one in this city seems to care. The animal services says it not their job, the police say it’s not their job. All she got for her efforts was a bunch of inbred, ill mannered, carriage drivers yelling and attacking her on craigslist. There have been quite a few accidents and horse deaths that have not been reported. Have the reporter get a hold of my sister and see the evidence she has on conditions these horses are kept in.

      • Mike Miles

        Both comments you say get a job. I do have a job, it makes me wonder about you though. Then you say unemployment benefits are over. I didn’t know that because I don’t use them. Maybe you are one of these carriage drivers that works another job because you are unable to make a living doing that.
        This is just the type of attitude these drivers out there have. They think they can do whatever and get away with it. Wait until one pulls out in front of you on Union in front of the Peabody some day or night when you least expect it. Oh that’s right, I guess you are one of these drivers.
        No I suggest maybe it is you who can’t answer comments without snippy remarks that maybe needs to find a job.

    • Mike Miles

      There are electric vehicles that look just like carriages available. They can also convert their carriages to electric. Those greedy owners should pull the carriages.

      • langor1

        The occupy movement is over Mike, so are never ending unemployment benefits, where does this leave you? Better pack up the Yurt and get your red paint ready for the next PETA rally.

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