Tourists Jump from Runaway Horse-Drawn-Carriage

Five New Yorkers visiting Savannah, Ga., got one heck of a ride when the horse pulling their horse-drawn-carriage got spooked and galloped uncontrollably through the city streets.

The tourists were forced to jump from the carriage while the horse ran wild for six blocks and crashed into five vehicles, reports The Augusta Chronicle. The tourists suffered minor injuries and the driver, who was ejected, was treated for a broken ankle, according to the NewsFix video above.

This isn’t the only horse-drawn-carriage accident this week. Two men in California were injured after they were thrown from a horse-drawn-carriage they were riding in when it rolled over after a horse “became scared and bolted,” reports

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Horse-drawn-carriage rides have come under scrutiny in New York recently. Mayor Bill de Blasio has called the industry inhumane and vowed to do away with it.

The horse in Georgia eventually stopped in an alley, where employees at a nearby restaurant were able to calm the animal down with carrots. The horse, which belongs to Historic Savannah Carriage Tours, was not injured. The horse in California, which was pulling the men on a dirt road, was also not injured, according to reports.

De Blasio announced he wants to replace the horse-drawn-carriages in New York City with electric, vintage-replica tourist-friendly vehicles. Actor Liam Neeson is against the mayor’s plan and penned a pro-horse-drawn-carriage editorial this week for The New York Times. In it, he points out a Quinnipiac poll that shows 64 percent of New Yorkers support the horse-drawn-carriages.

“It has been my experience, always, that horses, much like humans, are at their happiest and healthiest when working,” wrote Neeson. “Horses have been pulling from the beginning of time. It is what they have been bred to do.”

But not all celebrities are for it. Celebrities Pink and Lea Michele do not share his view, appearing in anti-horse-drawn-carriage ads for PETA.

Boston offers horse-drawn-carriage rides to tourists and the Boston Globe’s Jennifer Graham wrote an opinion piece in February called “The carriage horses are fine” in response to the debate happening in New York. She thinks cities should keep horse-drawn-carriages, writing, “Keep the horses in our city centers. Expel the cars.”

In her piece, she offers two different views from organizations that are passionate about animals.

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said this: “These horses are forced to work in an unnatural and dangerous environment. Countless horses have been injured or killed by cars, or died prematurely as a result of the strain. Domestic horses need the mental and physical stimulation of having a job, and things like hay rides or weddings away from congestion are fine. But these scenarios are nothing like those faced by horses used to pull carriages in major cities.”

And the American Horse Council said this: “Horses are involved in a great number of diverse activities and work. There is no reason to believe pulling a carriage in an urban environment is in itself harmful to the welfare of a horse.”

What do you think?