Horse owner defends carriage rides

Posted at 3:39 PM, May 18, 2016

A Facebook post and picture triggered anger by animal lovers.


The post stated horses used for carriage rides in downtown Cleveland are "chained up" in an old auto body shop on St. Clair.


Animal Rights Activist Carol Skok saw the post, drove by and called the photo upsetting.


"It's terrible, it's a nightmare, it's abuse,” Skok said.


“I don’t chain them up, I tie him up so he doesn't take off or anything, we always hook the horse, you've got to hook the horse, if you're are a horse person then you understand that, he's on a tie rope,” said Pete Leneghen owner of Shamrock Carriages.


Leneghen said his two horses Lance and Fredo are tied up for about 15 minutes a day, usually after getting washed to dry off.


“I bring them out here in the morning while we are cleaning the stalls, and while we"re getting the stalls ready for them,” Leneghen said.


Leneghen said the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit does regular inspections.


He said the horses spend most of the day getting TLC and fed top grade feed and hay in their stables.


The place appeared tidy, like something you'd see at a county fair.


But now there's an online petition to try and have the city ban horse drawn carriage rides.


“A horse should not be in the city, walking down the street's of Cleveland, they are in the middle of traffic,” Skok said.


“These guys are treated like gold, these guys are workhorses,” said Leneghen.


Leneghen’s draft horses also appear in the St. Patrick's Day parade