Alderman calls for more restrictions on horse carriage rides, company involved in incident speaks out

ST. LOUIS –  What started out as a quick carriage ride turned into dire situation for a woman and little girl on the St. Louis Riverfront Saturday.

A witness tells FOX 2 on Saturday the incident starting when a horse got irate.

However, the owner of the horse, Christine Ellis, said she recalls the situation differently.

“Romeo got a ride with its driver,” Ellis said. “They pulled out, went down just a little ways and Romeo got stung by a bee!”

Ellis said the horse started to shake his head around and the bridle that controls him got loose.

“When that happened she turned around and asked the people to get off the carriage so she could fix it the bridle,” she recalls. “Two got off, two stayed on! In the process she got the bridle back on the horses head.”

Ellis said that’s when a helicopter started landing, the horse lifted his head and the bridle fell out.

What’s believed to have happened after that is what you see in the cellphone video.

A short time after the two people jumped from the carriage the horse continued running until it hit a car and came to a stop.

“The back hub of the carriage which sticks out a little further clipped the bumper area of the SUV.”

The incident left the two-people shaken with bruises and now St. Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro is calling for more restrictions on horse carriage rides.

“It’s crazy; we’re putting people in danger! I know it’s fun to ride the horse up and down the river, but it’s dangerous and I believe we’ll do some type of legislation.”

Currently, Vacarro said one the main restrictions on carriage rides is that the horses aren’t allowed to work in the extreme heat.

Ellis’s co-owner Teddy Randazzo said more restrictions than that aren’t needed.

“It was just a freak accident!” Randazzo said. “It wasn’t nobody’s fault! It wasn’t the drivers fault, it wasn’t the horses fault, it wasn’t the passengers fault, it was nothing but an accident!”

“We’re definitely going to do something about it,” Vacarro said. “You can mark my words on that one!”

There’s still no word on the condition of the people involved at this time.

The company tells me the horse on the other hand is on vacation.