by Sarah Fenske
A candlelight vigil in St. Charles tonight will honor Cash, the carriage horse who plunged into the Missouri River last week after being spooked and fleeing his handlers.
The vigil will begin at 6 p.m. in front of Framations Art Gallery, 218 North Main Street. A 30-minute demonstration will be followed by a walk down to the river where Cash drowned, with a brief candlelight vigil on site. The whole event should take about one hour.The event is being organized by the St. Louis Animal Rights team. "We need as many people as possible to let officials know that people care about this issue and that horses do not belong in traffic," the organizers said in a release issued this morning.
This is not an isolated incident, but rather the latest in a series of unfortunate and preventable incidents that have occurred since this industry has been allowed to operate here with no effective oversight. In fact this same company has a history of failing to adequately control its horses.The non-profit animal advocacy organization is demanding that St. Charles immediately suspend operation of carriage horses pending a "real, full and public inquiry." It is also calling for St. Louis city and St. Louis County to suspend its carriage horse operations until those entities can provide further clarity on their regulation.
Just last year a bystander took this video of another St. Louis Carriage Company horse galloping uncontrolled down Market Street in downtown St. Louis. The company flippantly admitted the driver had violated policy by leaving the carriage unmanned, and that someone could have been killed. According to the witness who provided the video, this was at least the third such incident in 2015. And, still another horse was allowed to run uncontrolled, this time with tragic consequences.