Officials to vote on proposed changes to city ordinance after July 19th incident

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Three downtown carriage companies are working to implement new safety measures after a horse was injured while running away from handlers last month.

Video sent to News 2 showed a horse running unattended down Anson and Lauren Streets in downtown Charleston back on July 19th. The horse, Ervin, had to be “humanely euthanized” after it sustained significant injuries to his legs in the ordeal.

Now, the three carriage companies, which are part of the Charleston Carriage Association for Responsible Equine Safety (Charleston CARES), are working with the group to add new safety measures to a city of Charleston ordinance.

According to Charleston CARES, the new safety measures require horses to be anchored to a physical barrier by safety ties that are attached to a harness worn under the horse’s bridle. The “physical barrier” is defined as “a wall, anchored rail, or horse trailer that is directly in front of the animal and that the animal cannot walk through.”

When there is not a physical barrier, “two safety ties with anchor points at least eight (8) feet apart and on opposite sides of the animal shall be used,” according to the ordinance language. The full proposed ordinance is attached to this email.

Copy of the proposed ordinance change:

“Charleston CARES takes the health and safety of our animals very seriously and we are constantly looking into ways we can ensure the safest possible environment for our animals and our guests,” the organization said in a statement. “Following the devastating loss of Ervin, we have spent the past two weeks critically examining our safety measures and have implemented significant improvements that will make the hitching and unhitching process safer.”

The organization was founded in 2017 and is made up of the three largest horse carriage companies: Charleston Carriage Works, Old South Carriage Company and Palmetto Carriage Works.

“The organization is committed to developing and promoting the highest level of equine care for Charleston’s horse-drawn carriage community,” according to a news release.

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