Horse-drawn carriage company closing after 30 years downtown

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SALT LAKE CITY – Officials with a company offering horse-drawn carriage trips in downtown Salt Lake City said it is closing.

A message on the company’s phone line states the company is closing after nearly three decades.

The rides, especially popular during the holidays, will not be part of the tradition downtown this year.

The message states the property has been sold and the business will be moving in the next few months.

The message also thanked customers for their support.

The move comes about a year after the company drew public outcry when one of their animals collapsed downtown and later died.

Jerry the horse collapsed in downtown Salt Lake City last August and later died and members of the public expressed outrage in the wake of the animal’s death.

Earlier this year, city council officials considered a ban on horse-drawn carriages in the city.


  • Darren Mcclish

    Sad day when animals die. Also a sad day when small business owners are forced out due to uninformed public outcry.

    Can we get a ban on the bicycle-rickshaws?
    The “drivers” that work them cannot obey traffic laws. As far as I know, the rights of pedestrians are still primary to a bicycle when crossing legally across a signaled crosswalk as well as on sidewalks. The drivers weave in and out of traffic and onto and off sidewalks with no signal or other notice. They are a menace to both pedestrians and automobiles. I realize my comment about small business owners above is somewhat contrary to this paragraph, but independent contractors that create safety hazards should be controlled.


    • Robert Wesley

      Darren, fact is that Jerry the carriage horse died on the hot Salt Lake City street.

      Furthermore, you can directly attribute the end of the company to the new influx of peddicabs, which, if you aren’t an uninformed dullard are a great replacement for horses that aren’t able to say, “Hey buddy, some water and food would be nice right about now.” Horse carriages are outdated, and are a prime example of animal cruelty when a horse dies in the streets. Not all pedicab drivers follow the laws, but most of them ride reasonably careful, at least careful enough where news articles about dead peddicab drivers haven’t been a thing in salt lake, and neither have pedestrian injuries, crashes, etc. Surely you are smart enough to know when you are simply wrong, and an apology would be appropriate in my opinion

    • Samurai

      What do you mean by uninformed? What information is there? Would you care to explain the details of this horse’s passing or how it could be justified? Thanks.

  • Suzanne

    Darren, the only thing the public was “uninformed” about, was the condition of Jerry after his collapse. The owners falsified pictures of Jerry, saying he was recovering well, but it turns out it was a photo of another horse, and Jerry had already died. If you’re a horse owner, you should know and care about what environment they’re working in to keep them safe. To work them in the heat of Summer, in the downtown area of a busy city, is inhumane! This didn’t happen over night. It’s just that Jerry couldn’t hold up anymore.

  • Travis Wisdom

    Suzanne, Jerry died due to Colic which is the most frequent killer of horses in the world and almost impossible to catch before the horse shows symptoms. Jerry had just passed a health screening from their on staff vet weeks before the events downtown. As to the heat, the horses are perfectly fine working in the same temperatures that humans are and Carriage For Hire has a policy in place where the drivers are required to keep a full bucket of water on their carriage at all times during the hottest season. If it had been so hot as to potentially cause health problems for the animals, despite being properly hydrated, they would have shut down for the day. They do not and never have abused the horses by forcing them to work in extreme temperatures. When Jerry was brought back to their barn after his collapse, they had a mountain of death threats to all the employees and even a few attempts by activists to climb their fences to free Jerry. The owners reaction was an attempt to keep all those people and animals she was responsible for safe, under that light her course of action made sense. They company has only had a handful of accidents over it’s thirty years in business. Darren is correct, it’s a shame to lose this precious tradition in downtown Salt Lake.

  • Roger

    Please tell us then Suzanne, how often Jerry was required to pull a carriage over the last 7 or 8 years? No? Then perhaps you can inform us of Jerry’s vaccination schedule and when his last veterinary visit was, and what the exam revealed. No?? Well then perhaps you can tell us (along with the rest of the public since the only thing you were uninformed about is Jerry’s condition after his collapse), about the other horses at Carriage for hire and how they are housed and treated. No again huh? Then maybe you can tell us the number of death threats the owners of Carriage for hire received from you esteemed members of the public before a photo was even released? No again huh?? I don’t know Suzanne – you sound pretty uninformed to me.

  • Jeremy Beckham

    The carriage company never produced any veterinary records demonstrating that Jerry had colic, despite requests from city officials. Given their previous deceptions, why believe them now? Veterinarians who looked at photographs and videos stated that his symptoms appeared to indicate he had heat stroke. Also, colic rarely causes a horse to suddenly collapse. There are prior warning symptoms. So if he had colic, why was he being worked? Lots of questions the carriage company never answered. As a resident of Salt Lake City, I’m glad this cruel and disreputable business will no longer be operating in my city.

  • Suzanne Carlson

    Yay! I am thrilled this outfit is going under. It’s 2014, for crying out loud. We know that horses suffer when forced to pull oversized loads all day long. They have no quality of life. They are slaves by every definition of the word. The time to put these carriage rides out to pasture is long overdue.

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