Carriage company is cited  
City has issues with cleaning of stalls, feeding, vet records

By Allyson Bird - July 10, 2009

Carolina Polo and Carriage Co., under investigation for allegations of neglecting its tour-toting horses, will face a Charleston municipal court judge Monday on six city code citations.

The citations follow an industry-wide inspection, during which city officials gave all five carriage tour operators specific changes to make within two days.

Each company took all of the necessary actions within the two-day window except Carolina Polo, which addressed only one of its six citations.

According to city officials, the inspection found that Carolina Polo gave its horses the lowest quality feed and hay and provided the city-paid veterinarian altered medical records.

The city required that the company provide dry stalls and stop using bleach for cleaning. Urine in the stalls produces ammonia which, when mixed with bleach, creates toxic gas.

The inspection also instructed Carolina Polo to furnish veterinary records for the past three years, to maintain regular records on its horses and to make those records available on request.

It also required that the company establish a feeding schedule and provide salt and the veterinarian-recommended quantity of food daily.

Each violation carries a maximum fine of nearly $1,100, according to city officials. City attorney Ravi Sanyal said the city will not consider shutting down the company unless a judge rules against the company.

Carolina Polo representatives could enter a plea Monday or request a jury trial. Neither Carolina Polo manager Robert Knoth nor his attorney, Capers Barr, returned telephone calls seeking comment this week.

Vanessa Turner-Maybank, director of the Charleston Office of Tourism Management, said the city has twice suspended carriage companies from operating after they were found by a judge to have violated city code.

In both cases, the city took the horses off the street for two days, she said.

Following the recent inspection, Classic Carriage Co. received a code citation for not making a timely roof repair, according to city tourism manager Danielle Dillahey. That company also must appear in court Monday, though Dillahey said Classic Carriage has addressed the issue since being cited.

Though unrelated, the city released its inspection findings shortly after a woman who boarded horses for Carolina Polo accused the company of neglecting the animals. Nancy Lane contacted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals before sending a letter to the city outlining five horse deaths over the past two years.

Lane alleged the company concealed sick horses from public view and delayed medical care.

Coalition To Ban
Horse-Drawn Carriages

A Committee of the Coalition For New York City Animals, Inc.

The Coalition for
NYC Animals, Inc.

P.O. Box 20247
Park West Station
New York, NY 10025


To honor
Bobby II Freedom
previously known as Billy
ID# 2873 rescued by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and Equine Advocates on June 25, 2010 from the New Holland auctions.

In memory of
Lilly Rose O'Reilly
previously known
as Dada ID# 2711
R.I.P.August, 2007