Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday Night Carriage Accident on Dallas Road

On the evening of Monday, July 19th, there was an accident with the horse-drawn carriages down on Dallas Rd., highlighting the public safety risk inherent when horses are forced to pull carriages in urban environments.

I've been campaigning specifically on this issue for four years now, and spoken with hundreds of people from James Bay, and one thing is clear: these are not rare events - and occur nearly every month, although they’re rarely covered or reported on. Check out our campaign page with lots more info on the subject. 1/3rd of the people I surveyed in James Bay had personally witnessed some kind of incident, or a horse in distress. Have you?

Back to Monday's accident: you can read a very short (and rare) Times Colonist report here (another report here) and the TC also features a couple photos from the crash:

Photo credit: Bradley Pompu
I'm told that Chester, one of the two horses pulling this carriage, was spooked and started running, dragging Wes (pictured). There's a CHEK TV video report on as well, visit - see 'Carriage Horse Crash'. (I'm disappointed they left out my name and credentials in the report.)

This is an awful event to hear about, and will reoccur so long as there are horses on the street - which is no place for them!

I can certainly imagine a much better life for them than this, and Friends of Animals is calling on the carriage companies and City of Victoria to see these horses retired to sanctuaries, where they can live out their lives in peace. You can read the inspiring story of one such horse, Bobby, who was rescued from a slaughterhouse, and is now assured a safe and happy life.

Please help out by making this a topic of conversation! Take some time to talk to people about the issue; one common remark I hear repeatedly is 'oh, I've never thought about this...'

City Hall needs to hear from you as well. Send an email to and tell them what you think. They have been very lax in responding, so be sure to tell them you want to hear back on this. Keep writing them until they do. These horses need your voices. Tell your friends as well, feel free to send them this link, and post this (and your own thoughts) on Facebook and Twitter. Write Letters to the Editor to the Times Colonist, Victoria News and Monday Magazine.

Finally, we distribute leaflets and collect signatures for our petition nearly every week down on Belleville, across from the carriages. If any of our activists have a spare hour during the week between 11am and 2pm, we'll meet up and give out info. Email me if you'd like to join us! I can provide signs and literature:

Also check out Horses Without Carriages International for lots more info on this subject, and thank you for helping us to achieve a carriage-free Victoria!

Dave Shishkoff
Canadian Correspondent
Friends of Animals
Web Site:
FoA Vegan Starter Guide PDF:


  1. Thanks for sharing the story. I hadn't heard about it. It is such a shame that we continue to enslave these majestic creatures. Horses are key to explaining to society about domestication for many reasons including: 1) the unique vocabulary we have used reveals the domination - one must BREAK a horse, and 2) horses are one of the only creatures that actually can recover from domestication and dominion; if allowed, they will be wild again. Thanks FoA for caring and trying to put an end to this antiquated tourist trap.

  2. Oh my! What a terrible accident. Animals really can become unexpected at times. I hope they can weed out those horses that could be aggressive from the ones that could not. Because I know there are horses that are really tame.


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