CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – A bleeding horse is stirring controversy about carriage tour companies in downtown Charleston again. Classic Carriage Works’ horse, Berry, was injured when the nails holding his horseshoe broke, and punctured his foot. It was caught on camera and that footage is going viral on social media.
The woman who filmed the incident, Christie Bergmann, says, “It’s upsetting, it’s disturbing and it’s shameful for Charleston, the best city in the world, for this to be coming out. I’m ashamed.”
She says she pulled out her camera when she noticed one of the carriage horses limping down Market Street.
Bergmann says, “There was blood, there was a blood trail from King Street all the way down to South Market and Meeting where he had stopped the carriage.”
Classic Carriage Works tells News 2 Berry slipped out of the horseshoe at a stoplight.
Classic Carriage’s General Manager, Tim Manley, says, “When he stepped back down, one of the toe clips of his shoe cut the inside of his hoof. The tour guide noticed he had stepped on his shoe right off the bat, they were in motion at that point heading off the tour, he pulled over at the best safe location he had.”
Bergmann says it took too long to stop.
She says, “Why not pull over immediately and stop the horse immediately because the horse was injured?”
Manley says the tour guide called the barn and they sent help right away. Berry’s foot was bandaged and stopped bleeding.
He says, “They do have a lot of blood flow in the feet and a small cut like that could lead to a decent amount of blood. He was not in any severe distress as we understand it and was able to make it to the barn under his own power.”
People upset about this say the horse shouldn’t be working in Charleston anyway.
Bergmann says, “It hurts me that people have the power to make these animals’ lives better, but they are just concerned about making money.”
But the carriage company says people are using this as an excuse to take the carriages off the streets.
Manley says, “If they were genuinely concerned about the animal then they would want to come and see him, and he’s right here. We’re not hiding him, but not one of those individuals has come by or called to see how he’s doing.”
Classic carriage tells News 2 they reported the incident to the City of Charleston and a veterinarian will be by on Tuesday to take an x-ray of Berry’s foot and assess any damage.