Added Sep 10 2017
Excited to check out a local street festival, my partner and I walked down to see what it was all about. A stage blasting loud music, a few food stands and and handful of carnival/fair rides.
What surprised and shocked me most was the poor ponies that were being held hostage in a small enclosure providing amusement and rides. Ok -- I know this doesn't seem that bad, but you need to understand the environment in which these poor ponies were subject to.
They were in this small small fenced area being forced to walk in a tight circle for hours and hours providing rides to the few spectators that actually wandered up. Not only were they in a small space, they also had no horse shoes, their poor hooves were cracked, and you could clearly see that they were tired as they lifted their back hooves to an angle trying to alleviate the strain from standing for hours on this asphalt road. It was sad and heartbreaking to see these poor guys standing there in such agony for our mere amusement.
Now, on the other side of Central was a small camel also being exploited for our amusement. This camel was muzzled and, again, forced to walk back and forth on the hard asphalt for hours. I decided to ask the gentlemen who was managing the camel rides about the condition of the ponies and how it wasn't humane that they were being forced to walk in such a small space for hours on asphalt without at least horse shoes to protect hooves. I immediately was greeted a hasty defense and was told it wasn't any of my business what the company name was nor where they were based out of.
I decided to leave it at that and photograph the poor conditions of these animals and document the clear signs of exhaustion.
It's crazy that the city has allowed such a horrid thing to be included as part of the venue. I intend to email the alderman's office and make it clear that this type of entertainment shouldn't be allowed in the future.