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In Response to Munday’s Article in The Post and Courier…

In response to Dave Munday’s “What can be done to head off trouble for Charleston’s started carriage horses” original published as an article in The Post and Courier.

During the years spanning from 2014 – 2017 that Dave Munday referenced in his “spooky story,” 120,000 carriage tours WERE conducted by Charleston horse carriage companies. However, right now we’re sitting at a 99.99% rate of tours that were conducted without the type of negative occurrence he cites in the article. We are constantly evaluating and improving everything we do. All animals undergo a formal training process that is structured, documented and has hour minimums . The same is true with driver training. A potential driver passes through several levels, each with a minimum hourly requirements.

In addition to training, we address safety in our daily operations. Every day the driver of each carriage completes a checklist inspection of both the carriage and harness. All carriages return to our premises after each tour. The driver advises the barn staff of any irregularities with either the carriage or the animal and they are immediately addressed. Palmetto Carriage Works’ requirements far exceed every city regulation Mr. Munday referred to. One would not get the correct impression of policy and procedure already in place by reading Mr. Munday’s story. He poses the question while hiding the answer.

Munday goes on to identify reports as “sketchy,” setting the tone for another paragraph. I provided Mr. Munday with a report we had provided days before, and it was nothing like he described. For this incident and all serious incidents (including those like the Big John fall), the Tourism Enforcement Officers and veterinarians are informed immediately. For this particular incident, the owner was also on scene and wanted a police report. The police came, wrote an accident report documenting a broken mirror and the next day filed the incident report.

Twenty-four hours is the time we have to complete and turn-in the incident report to the city. This gives us a period of time to talk with everyone involved, examine all of the equipment and animals involved, and reach the best conclusion we can as to what happened and how we can avoid it in the future. Immediate notification when it’s called for, 24 hours to file the report. What exactly is unreasonable with that? If no clue is given as to why the horse is spooked, then there is no reason that we can identify. Most of my driver accounts are handwritten, like a handwritten confession. Just like the one I provided Mr. Munday. Brief, direct and to the point is not sketchy.

When there’s no new carriage news, we’ll talk about old carriage news, ponder the future, and ignore the ever evolving steps we take to insure the safety of both our passengers and animals. The unfounded claims in this article are the result.

-Tom

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