Category Archives: Media

Three Years Out

Three years ago while sitting in the hospital with my dying mother, I received a telephone call.

“We’re on our way into the city, driving right now. We’re going as fast as we can.”

I whispered, “Okaaaay? What’s up?”

“Noble burned.”

My stomach plummeted and I slipped from my chair onto the floor. “NO!”

IMG_0095Scrambling, my fingers flew across my phone screen as I struggled to pull up news of the blaze. Cisco was there, in the city with three other horses. I couldn’t, not now. I couldn’t face the loss of someone else in my life. He was my buddy, my rock, the anchor to which I clung as I helplessly watched cancer’s assault against my mother.


Fire at Noble Horse Theater Declared Arson

The news coverage horrified me. Smoldering skeletons of several carriages lay scattered in the snow-covered yard. Flashing lights from the first responders cast an eerie blue glow on the background lending a strange beauty to the stage of destruction. My God. 

“The horses. What happened to the horses?” My voice sounded strangled and pitched in fear.

“They’re fine. Only the carriages burned.”

I cried, clinging to Mom’s hand. Her skin was pulled and dry—I must get lotion.

Photo credit: Chicago Tribune

Within a few hours, the sun rose on a devastating blow against two of Chicago’s three carriage companies. The flames completely destroyed all but one carriage, leaving thirteen blackened hulls in smoking ruin. Blankets hung in soggy black tatters across melted upholstery. Carriage whips folded into jagged shapes like the leafless branches of winter trees. Burnt rubber tires dripped from wheels without all their spokes. Duffel bags of drivers’ ashen coats, hats, and gloves lay scattered and filthy across the soot stained snow.

We had no carriages. We had no gear. We had no way to pay our rent, put food on our tables, or replace our destroyed equipment. The owners feared the loss of their businesses, and the drivers mourned their jobs. We were adrift.

And then we learned about the graffiti.

Once the smoke cleared, arson investigators quickly found the scrawled yellow messages:

Photo Credit: Michelle Relerford


“Save the Horses”

Someone did this. Someone invaded our barn and set fire to our lives. Did they know horses were upstairs? Did they care?

Forget about the carriages for a moment and understand that someone who declared “freedom” and “save the horses” dropped a lit match in their stable. Fire is a horseman’s worst fear. New riders are taught from the very beginning that a horse will never leave a burning barn, not without a fight. We must be prepared. We must have a plan, special halters hanging in easy-to-reach places so maybe, just maybe, we might get the horses out.

And someone inflicted that terror upon us, upon our horses.

Carriages and gear weren’t the only things we lost in the fire. We lost our sense of safety. We felt violated by a faceless assailant who willfully endangered our horses. Forget about the carriages. Someone risked our horses’ lives because they disagree with the horse drawn carriage industry.

Who does that?

Today I grieve not just the loss of my mother, but also for any hope that animal rights activists care about the animals they want to “save.” They do not care. Someone lit that match. Someone dropped it.

I hope they are found, if not by the FBI, then by their own conscience.

Current Affairs

It would appear our businesses and our website have attracted the attention of recent media outlets. While we appreciate the traffic, we have horses to feed and care for, so we’ll keep this brief.

Animal rights activists have spent the past year impeding the companies’ legal rights to operate. These activists’ repeated claims consistently misrepresent our drivers, horses, and the city’s regulatory processes.

We look forward to our day in court providing reliable scientific information from experienced equine professionals to counter the rampant misinformation being spread by the animal rights activists.

Until then, enjoy the holidays!



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!



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!

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.”

More Support Arrives From Veterinarians!

Two more letters of support have arrived from vets familiar with the horses working in Chicago!

Jim Rogers

Professional Letter


Many thanks to Drs. Smith and Beatty for taking time out of their busy schedules to support working horses in Chicago!

Voices of Reason

Many thanks to Dr. John J. Hanover, DVM and Dr. Garry J. Fedore, DVM for these excellent letters they have written in support of our industry!

Inexperienced personal opinions may deem carriage horses working in urban environments to be unhealthy or cruel. But veterinarians spend many thousands of dollars, and countless hours of education to gain their experience. Aren’t they the only ones truly qualified to evaluate whether an individual horse is or is not healthy? Shouldn’t their professional observations mean more than the personal opinions of those without verifiable experience? And importantly, if the veterinarian has performed an actual in-person physical examination on the animals in question, don’t their observations mean more than ones made by those with no first-hand experience with the horses?


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More to follow…