UPDATE: Melissa was removed from her job so new contact details!!!!
Every year at Christmas time the city of Manassas allows free horse carriage rides in downtown Manassas. The horses are subjugated to crowds of loud people, children grabbing and touching them, cars driving fast by mere inches from them as they pull or wait for the carriages to be loaded, and forced to work for 3+ hours straight without breaks. The horses show signs of pain from the bit (see here about bit cruelty), pain in the legs, and exhaustion.
Horse carriages are being banned in many cities around the world due to the cruelty and dangers inflicted upon the horses. Horses are prey animals and are easily startled by loud noises, fast movement, and even flashing lights. Their first instinct is to flee whatever it was that startled them. In a loud, busy city environment, this happens often, and horses bolt into oncoming traffic. Horses are constantly being struck by vehicles in city settings, dying from the collisions, or being so injured they are later euthanized.
Many horses used in the horse carriage industry are retired race horses from thoroughbred or standardbred (harness) racing. These horses originate from inbreeding and immense cruelty, being raced nearly to death, only to end up being forced to pull carriages. Many also originate from Amish, who also abuse animals.
Due to this, many of these horses are often older. It is not uncommon to see horses that are 18 years or older pulling carriages. This is the equivalent of a 60 year old human!
On top of being old and often coming from abusive backgrounds, carriage horses are forced to wear painful bits that tear into their mouths, causing injuries and even bleeding. Bits are designed solely to cause pain to control the animal. There are cruelty free bridles, such as bitless bridles, that do not cause pain and also are stress free for the horses. To learn more about bits please go here.
Carriages horses rarely are retired, either being worked until they die, or sent to slaughter. It is not rare to find these horses, even shires and other draft horses, at the kill pens being bought by kill buyers to be shipped to Mexico or Canada where they are slaughtered for their flesh, or shipped to yet another country to be slaughtered.
Due to this cruelty, the danger, and risk of injury to humans, we must ban horse carriages everywhere and replace them with electric carriages, such as what Philadelphia is doing. See more sources here.
What you can do to help ban horse carriages from Manassas City is read the sources below to familiarize yourself with the issues of horse carriages and how many horses are killed every year from this sick industry. Then, contact the Manassas City Mayor, Michelle Davis-Younger, and tell her to ban horse carriages from the city and only allow electric carriages. You can reach her via:
Email Form on Website: https://www.michelle4manassas.com/contact
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (No longer active)
Mail her a letter at: P.O BOX 81
Manassas, VA 20108
Message her Socials: https://www.facebook.com/Michelle4Manassas
Call the City (this will just get you a secretary but you can leave a message or ask to be transferred to the Mayor’s office: 703-257-8200
Or message their socials:
To contact the person in charge of planning events:
Jheanel Butler – Event Coordinator for Historic Manassas
Front office so ask to be transferred: 703-361-6599
Historic Manassas which is the company that pays for the horse carriages:
ANOTHER PERSON TO MESSAGE:
Kristen Kiefer is Jheanel’s boss at Historic Manassas. She is brand new so that’s why I didn’t realize she existed. But I have her contact info:
email@example.com (Old work Email, might still work)
Not sure what to say? You can send this message (please edit some so it’s unique!) or use this as a talking example on the phone:
I am emailing (calling, messaging) you because I am concerned about the horse carriages being used for Christmas every December. Horse carriages are immensely cruel as they force horses to pull heavy carriages filled with up to ten adult humans on hard concrete for hours. This weight being pulled for hours on hard concrete causes serious injuries to their legs and spines, resulting in lameness.
Horses used for horse carriages in cities are also subjugated to a lot of danger as they are prey animals. Horses, when spooked, will run away. They are easily scared, and when they flee, which is often, they run into cars, humans, or cause the carriage to strike something injuring pedestrians. Horses being struck by cares or running into people is very common. The New York City horse carriage industry has had at least 25 serious accidents involving a horse struck by a car in five years’ time alone! Everywhere, around the world, horses pulling carriages in cities are being spooked, running into cars, or worked until they collapse.
Horses used in carriage industries around the world are not only forced to work hours every day with painful bits cutting into their tongues and being whipped, but also are dehydrated, under fed, and are usually sent to slaughter for retirement. It is normal to find old horses pulling carriages as many originate from the horseracing industry or the Amish.
This is immensely cruel for the horses and dangerous for humans who can be struck and killed by a half ton animal pulling several hundreds of pounds of weight behind them when in a panic. And since carriage horses are forced to wear blinders, they will run into humans and crush them as they can’t even see where they are going!
I am upset and disappointed that the City of Manassas would not only allow such horrible animal cruelty, but put me and other citizens at risk of severe injury or death. It is irresponsible, and we have hundreds of examples to show this extreme danger.
Cities have banned horses carriages all over the world and US due to the abuse and danger. Many are now using electric carriages that are identical, just without the horse. People get the same experience, without the cruelty or risk of being thrown out of a carriage pulled by a panicking horse!
Please, do not allow anymore horse carriages in the city, and instead implement either electric carriages or another animal free event.
Sources on Horse Carriages:
CARRIAGE HORSE FATALITIES: partnershiptobanhorsecarriages.com/fatalities/
Carriage Horses NYC: https://carriagehorsesnyc.blogspot.com/
Coalition to Ban Horse Carriages: https://www.banhdc.org/index.shtml
Partnership to Ban Horse Carriages: http://partnershiptobanhorsecarriages.com/
Horses Without Carriages: https://banhdc.org/hwci/
Victoria Against Horse Carriages: http://www.banhorsecarriagesvictoria.org/
Carriage Horse Accidents: https://www.banhdc.org/ch-acc.shtml
List of Horse Carriage Accidents: https://www.all-creatures.org/articles/act-c-shdc-acc.html
Another List of Carriage Horse Accidents and Deaths: http://partnershiptobanhorsecarriages.com/accidents/
Carriage Horses – Tradition or Cruelty: https://bitesizevegan.org/carriage-horse-controversy-tradition-or-cruelty/
Carriage Horse Fact Sheet: https://fundforhorses.org/fact-sheets/fact-sheet-carriage-horses/
Carriage Horses Have Shorter Lives: https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/use-with-carriages-shortening-horses-life-expectancy-by-90-percent-report-112979
Cities That Have Banned Horse Carriages: https://www.banhdc.org/archives/ch-other-cities.shtml
Horse Carriage Bans: https://charlestoncarriagehorseadvocates.com/worldwide-city-carriage-rides-ban/
Meet the Cruelty Free Electric Carriage: https://www.nyclass.org/horseless_ecarriages
Carriage Horse Killed by Neglect: https://www.nyclass.org/ayshaautopsy
Salt Lake City to Ban Horse Carriages After Collapse: https://www.nyclass.org/salt_lake_city_to_ban_carriage_horses_after_horror_collapse_in_downtown_street
Carriage Company in New Orleans Disposed of Dead Mule to Hide Evidence: https://theirturn.net/plight-of-the-carriage-mules-in-new-orleans/
Carriage Horse Dies in Melbourne after Collapse: https://7news.com.au/news/animals/horse-dies-in-north-melbourne-after-collapsing-while-pulling-carriage-c-2423025
Runaway Horse and Carriage: https://www.insideedition.com/8132-runaway-horse-and-carriage-has-family-hanging-on-for-dear-life
Documented Carriage Horse Abuse: https://www.nyclass.org/nyclass_documents_carriage_horse_abuse_at_hackline_during_heatwaves
Carriage Horse in Georgia Spooked and Injured: https://www.wfmynews2.com/article/news/several-people-horse-injured-in-savannah-ga-carriage-crash/83-63d9c1bf-7f50-4a40-99c4-ab880195e6c9
SPCA Recommends Banning Horse Carriages: https://globalnews.ca/news/4255288/spca-horse-carriage-ban/
SUV Crashes into Carriage Horse: https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/suv-horse-carriage-crash-manhattan/
Cruel and Inhumane Horse Carriages: https://www.nyclass.org/horse_drawn_carriages
Equipment Breaks Down and Spooks Carriage Horse: https://www.counton2.com/news/local-news/equipment-break-spooks-carriage-horse-in-downtown-charleston/
Rome’s Horse Drawn Carriage Industry Exposed as Abusive: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/rome-horse-video-falling-carriages-animal-welfare-italy-mayor-a9164531.html
San Antonio Must Ban Horse Carriages: https://sanantonioreport.org/san-antonio-horse-drawn-carriage-ban-animal-welfare/
Myths and Truths on Horse Carriages: https://heatherclemenceau.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/myths-half-truths-and-lies-of-the-commercial-carriage-horse-industry/
71% of People Want to Ban Horse Carriages in Cities: https://aldf.org/article/seventy-one-percent-of-nyc-voters-support-a-ban-on-horse-and-carriage-rides-according-to-new-poll/
What’s Wrong With Carriage Rides: https://www.adoptananimalkits.com/advocate/farm-animals/params/post/1280839/whats-wrong-with-carriage-rides
Carriage Horse Was in Distress Before Collapse: https://nypost.com/2022/08/15/carriage-horse-was-in-distress-before-collapse-on-nyc-witness/
This Florida Town Now Offers Electric Carriage Rides: https://www.travelawaits.com/2843547/mount-dora-florida-electric-carriage-rides/
End of the Horse Drawn Carriage: https://www.majorcadailybulletin.com/news/local/2022/07/28/104013/end-the-horse-drawn-carriage.html
Horse Carriages in NYC Alone Involved in 25 Accidents Since 2009: https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20141029/midtown/horse-carriages-involved-25-accidents-since-2010-nypd-reports-show/