Stanley Park incident prompts calls for ban on horse-drawn carriages
A pair of spooked horses stampeding down the Stanley Park Seawall pulling a carriage full of tourists has renewed calls for a ban on horses and cars sharing roads.
"I have to say it's not really a surprise to us. It's exactly the kind of thing we've been warning about for a number of years,” said Peter Fricker of the Vancouver Humane Society.
The mishap happened Monday morning as pipeline protestors blocked Stanley Park Drive and an impatient driver honked a car horn right next to the horses.
The spooked animals left the road, crossing a bike path and smashing a park bench with their carriage. They then headed north along the seawall for about a hundred meters before they could be brought under control.
The driver fell out and frightened tourists leapt from the carriage as it barreled along.
"My heart was broken. But nobody was hurt so that's really what matters, and the horses too,” said Gerry O’Neil, owner of Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours.
The Vancouver Park Board said this is the first time an incident like this has been reported in the 37 years the business has been operating.
It says it will work with O’Neil to review practices and procedures but stands by the company despite what happened on Monday.
The horses were not injured in the stampede but O’Neil says they will be kept out of service for a while and will not return to pulling carriages until checked out and cleared by a vet.