Hold your horses! Janet White, director of Carriage Horse Freedom in Philadelphia has been advocating for a city-wide ban of horse-drawn carriages. Recently she purchased an electric horseless carriage to kickstart her mission of making the ban a reality.
For the first time in 50 years, Philly saw the unofficial closure of the last horse drawn carriage. 76 Carriage Company, the city’s last horse & carriage company, emptied their stables setting the dawn of a new era, an animal-friendly one.
Help From The Big Apple
Early April, The Brady Hunter Foundation, a New York City non-profit working to end animal cruelty pledged support to Philly. They promised to purchase electric carriages for Philly. If all goes well, two to three prototypes could be driving down streets this summer.
Additionally, New York City is also working to replace horse-drawn carriages. Outrage sparked on social media in 2022 when a carriage operator was seen repeatedly whipping a dehydrated horse, Ryder, who simply didn’t have the horsepower to keep moving. The carriage company at the time simply stated the operator was following protocol laid out by the city’s department of health.
Taking The First Step
Indeed, Janet White’s purchase of an electric carriage couldn’t be more timely. Earlier this year she went on a scouting trip to Mount Dora, Fl, the first US city to adopt horseless carriages. When a deal she couldn’t resist presented itself, White purchased it. Now with the support of Councilman Mark Squilla, who represents Old City, she plans to showcase her new electric carriage for riders on July Fourth in Old City.
Making Woman’s History
White has some work to do before the big July Fourth debut. The carriage will have to be deemed safe for Philly streets through Penndot. Moreover, it will also need a little work. However, “It’s basic but beautiful,” she said. “We think it will work well here.”
In the meantime, White started her own carriage company, FREe-CARRIAGES. She has made history as the only solely female-owned electric carriage company in the US.