Spring weather typically brings the clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages to Victoria streets, but with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down nearly all businesses, the city’s controversial horse carriage industry is yet another casualty.
Tally-Ho Carriage Tours, running carriage rides in Victoria for 117 years, suspended operations March 19 after closed borders and travel restrictions effectively shut down the city’s tourism industry. On a GoFundMe page, the business says it’s facing the “harsh reality” that it will experience 12 months with no income. Now Tally-Ho is asking for the public’s help to care for its “18 magnificent draft horses.”
“After laying off all staff and cutting all non-essential costs, our small, family-run business is still facing a significant shortfall of over $120,000 to maintain quality horse care over the expected course of COVID,” writes owner Donna Friedlander. “Our savings will not cover the horses’ feed, foot care, veterinarian care, shelter and base needs for long.”
Friedlander says the company qualifies for only one of the federal assistance programs, and even that won’t cover the horses’ needs. “Our goal is to reach the $120,000 our horses need – every dollar helps!” she writes.