carriage horse

Press Release

Protest of Inhumane St. Louis Horse Carriage Rides, on Anniversary of ‘King’ the Horse’s Death

Animal Legal Defense Fund and St. Louis Animal Rights Team Continue to Put Pressure on City Officials

For immediate release:


ST. LOUIS, MO — The St. Louis Animal Rights Team (START) promises twenty protesters—holding signs reading “King Died Giving Rides, Don’t Get Taken for a Ride” and “RIP King”—at “Winter Wonderland” in Tilles Park, Wednesday, December 23, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The protesters will join a candlelight vigil to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of King—a horse who died while giving carriage rides at St. Louis County’s annual “Winter Wonderland” on December 23, 2013.

The protest follows the dismissal of a petition filed with the St. Louis City Court, requesting the court to force the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission (MTC), and it’s executive director Ronald Klien, to regulate the St. Louis horse-drawn carriage industry. The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and START are appealing the decision.

MTC is accused of neglecting their responsibility to enforce regulatory requirements that include provisions for animal welfare, veterinary care, housing, and work restrictions for the horses.

King was owned by Eureka-based Brookdale Farms, which MTC had previously investigated after multiple complaints of neglect and malnourishment. A veterinarian sent by MTC in 2010 reported that all horses at Brookdale Farms were deprived of adequate food, and many were malnourished. Though an investigation of King’s death was promised to the public in 2013, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed that no such investigation occurred. In fact, MTC mysteriously abandoned its enforcement responsibilities regarding carriage horses altogether later that year, spurring ALDF & START’s lawsuit.

WHO: Twenty local residents and members of START

WHAT: Candlelight vigil for King the horse and a protest of continuing inhumane treatment, injuries, and deaths of carriage horses

WHEN: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 – 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Tilles Park, St. Louis County

9551 Litzinger Road St. Louis, MO 63124


Bonnie Boime with the St. Louis Animal Rights Team, will be available for interviews at the protest.

Animal Legal Defense Fund Attorney Jessica Blome is available for interviews via phone.