All posts by bishop60626

Money Talks…Nonsense.

While the battle for Central Park’s carriage horses reached a nail-biting fever pitch at last night’s Victor de Souza fashion show,


Chicago’s woes seem to be simmering on the back burner. So far, the other side, both political and protester, seems eerily quiet.

But what we have faced is something more troubling.

Bud downtown
It’s not a broken leg!

Sure, I’ve talked to several people who’ve walked past the horses while mumbling “Poor horse” or “he seems tired.” I try to engage them in discussion, pointing out how lucky our horses are to have jobs which secure their continued existence, how relaxation does not equal exhaustion. The broken leg comments are simple–I find a person standing with their leg resting and point out how almost everyone stands this way sometimes. 

Most insidious to me, however, are the complaints made by those who feel the horses infringe on their personal rights. Sound silly? Let me explain.

Occasionally I drive my horse down the old bridle paths into Lincoln Park to avoid the terrible traffic on Clark and Lasalle. The paths go beneath the street, wide enough for my carriage to share the way with pedestrians and bicyclists alike. Yet one day, a well dressed woman with an angry pinched face called the police on her cell phone to complain. I broke no laws, and I inconvenienced her not one whit. She was offended by sharing the way with someone she didn’t like.

Just a few short years ago, four separate carriage stands existed with signs designating them for carriages–now only Water Tower remains. With nowhere else for carriages to legally park, overcrowding can become an issue. A few residents of the neighboring condo find this intolerable because they cannot cross the street where they want. Walking 25 feet to either of the crosswalks is intolerable–so they call the Mayor. Yes, the Mayor.

If Mayor Rahm Emanuel has nothing better to do than crack down on the horse carriages because his friend can’t cross the street wherever he wants, then its no wonder Chicago has terrible violence and a suffering public school system. Our elected officials are being distracted to do favors for and address the complaints of personal friends and wealthy supporters.

What about the family with 2 children who beg down at Michigan Ave. and Ontario St? What about the mentally ill man incapacitated by his giant duct tape boots who sits at Michigan Ave. and Chestnut St? What about the man with no feet who sits at Rush St. and Walton St? What about the heroin addicted young couple who sit at Michigan Ave and Pearson St?

Don’t we have more important things to worry about? Why do the concerns of the wealthy and white privileged trump every other problem faced by the city? Seriously, does the placement of a few extra horse drawn carriages, or a lone carriage on a quiet path really deserve such hand-wringing and personal offense?


Former Mayor Jane Byrne and the Celebration of Survivors


Chicago Alderman have proposed a rename of the Water Tower Plaza after Jane Byrne, the city’s first and only female mayor. While her accomplishments are long and distinguished, it’s worth noting that Chicago’s horse drawn carriage industry came into existence per her suggestion.

Byrne’s daughter Kathy said, “It’s a place that my mother looked at when she was in office..she could look right out her kitchen window and see that Water Tower Park…the horses and carriages gathering around it.”

Alderman Edward Burke, chairman of the Finance Committee, and the man who proposed the ban on our horse drawn carriages, supports the vote, saying it “essentially rights a wrong: “A failure to honor one of Chicago’s most significant political figures.””

Interestingly, Kathy Byrne commented, “the Water Tower is a survivor…my mother is a survivor…Chicago is a survivor.”

My guess is that Former Mayor Byrne might also like to see the horse drawn carriage industry as a survivor!

Miss United Nations World Ambassador

Horse drawn carriages are eye-catching photo ops in every city! Miss United Nations World Ambassador 2014, Sherrie Gearheart enjoys a photo shoot at the Chicago Water Tower!photo (4)

Check out Miss Gearheart’s charity, Live Out Loud Charity, which focuses on suicide prevention and awareness!



Yes, There Was An Accident

Late Monday night, an SUV carrying 3 adults and 4 children rear ended a Chicago Carriage heading home after a shift downtown. The 4 children were treated at Lurie hospital and released. The driver of the carriage has a broken wrist but is otherwise fine. Milo the horse is fine, and has been checked over by Inspector Holcomb from Chicago’s Animal Care and Control.

So what does this mean?

Does it mean this?

I don’t THINK so. What both of these recent tweets fail to mention is that the horse and carriage didn’t collide with an SUV, but rather the SUV collided with the horse and carriage.

And I have to ask, how does an attentive driver not see an oversize dapple grey horse pulling a large white carriage with a highly reflective slow moving hazard triangle?


Were you paying attention? Were you driving too fast? Were you distracted? Were you on your PHONE?

Instead of questioning whether horse drawn carriages should be in Chicago, maybe we should be asking more important questions?




More Support Arrives For Chicago Carriages


Many thanks to Illinois Horsemen’s Council member and Antique Coach & Carriage owner Debbie Hay for getting this great letter of support from the Council!

Microsoft Word - Honorable Rahm Emanuel.docx

Microsoft Word - Honorable Rahm Emanuel.docx


And with the help of Dr. Sheryl S. King, President of the Horsemen’s Council, Chicago Horse and Carriage owner Larry Ortega received this great letter from the Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources!


Good Stuff!


Go Pickle!

Check out this great new video made about one of our Chicago carriage horses!

We’ve watched Pickle since the beginning, as a newbie in town, to becoming one of the cutest greys to pull a carriage. How great is it to see him become a star?!

How Can You Help?


We get a lot of questions asking how someone can help keep horse drawn carriages in Chicago.

1.Contact your city alderman. Politely tell them you want carriages in Chicago. Not sure who your Alderman is? Check here.


2. Keep up to date with our Facebook page and Twitter account. Share our message with your friends to spread the word

3. If you speak with someone who’s uncertain about the conditions of the horses, be informative! Point them to the resources that can help them understand the love and care our horses are given every day!

4. If you are unduly harassed by protesters when taking a carriage ride, contact the police! You have rights!

5. Share the message! We are always willing to talk to people about their concerns–we love to talk about our horses!

Antique Coach and Carriage

Great Lakes Horse and Carriage

Chicago Horse & Carriage

Do you have a great carriage story to share? Please comment in the thread beneath this message and include any pictures of your ride!

Where Do the Horses Go?

Radical animal rights activists believe carriage horses go to slaughter once their working days are over.

Elizabeth Forel is quite outspoken in her beliefs. 

Peta is certain carriage horses are what’s for dinner.

And if you ask this guy, well:

You can watch the whole video if you want, but I can’t be held responsible for any loss of brain cells. This guy’s a real wunderkind.

Anyway, if we listen to these folks, carriage horses are the wildebeest of the horse world, basically feeding everyone from lovers of Aldi’s lasagna to Fido to that weird kid who ate glue in Kindergarten.

So, these pictures and videos of retired carriage horses must be super rare footage of almost mythical creatures, right?

Meet Roger. He has his own Facebook page, and his retirement was profiled by the New York Daily News:


And meet Caruso. This Chicago horse retired and now packs a little kid around the hunter ring.

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And then there’s Toby, who retired after pulling a carriage in his owner’s funeral.


I guess if we knew retired carriage horses were so rare, we wouldn’t have been giving them away to loving families for all these years.

Unless perhaps,



…could the animal rights activists so proudly beating their drums be mistaken? I mean, retired carriage horses running around in fields with goats, packing little kids around show rings, and relaxing in pastures just don’t make very convincing arguments, now do they?

Have a retired carriage horse? Share your pics with us and we’ll include them here!



Chicago Owner/Driver Jim Rogers Defends His Livelihood

 From WBBM: “The three companies that run two dozen horse carriages in the city are gearing up to fight what they see as a misguided attempt to put them out of business. Mike Krauser reports.”