Any who frequent Downtown Charleston’s many streets and sidewalks are sure to have either come across at least one of the few different horse-drawn carriages that meander their way between the rowhouses and colonial architecture.
Rain or shine, these tours of the historic peninsula are made possible thanks to the hardworking animals that pull these carriages from on piece of history to another. While most onboard the carriages are busy pondering the stories behind the buildings, many are worried about the stories in front of the carriages — the horses’ stories that is.
The Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates (CCHA), a local non-profit organization, is holding a “Rally and Walk for the Horses” at 11 a.m. this Saturday, Oct. 5, on the steps of the Customs House on East Bay Street to draw others’ attention to the animals as well.
The CCHA’s mission is to advocate for humane working conditions for Charleston’s carriage animals, who they say are forced to work in poor weather conditions, including extreme temperature, and pull more passengers than any other U.S. city’s carriages.
This peaceful rally will be the platform for the non-profit to call on the city’s elected officials to create a safe, humane ordinance for the horses, according to a CCHA board member, Ellen Harley.
The City of Charleston has granted CCHA a permit for the rally, according to a press release. As a part of the rally, there will also be a minister present to bless the animals, supporters will read a letter and a poem to city officials, and the participants will then peacefully carry their posters through the market.
Women who plan on attending are encouraged to wear hoopskirts and petticoats to the event.