CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A crowd gathered as Fredo the horse slipped down the steep hill on Main Street this past weekend. He went down on his backside and tipped over. He was scraped up as he tried to get up, and the crowd had to help him.
"We're still trying to find out exactly what happened. We haven't talked fully with the driver," said Shamrock Carriages manager Jimmy Coppola. "We're sorry about the accident, we wish it didn't happen. I am happy to see people care."
Videos and pictures from the scene have spurred an investigation.
"We have opened an investigation into the incident on Saturday night and are currently actively learning more about what happened. I think first and foremost making sure the horse is OK and receiving the care it needs," said Sharon Harvey from Cleveland's Animal Protective League.
Cleveland police are also reviewing information relative to the incident.
When asked about the APL's investigation, Coppola said he wants to be as transparent as possible.
"We are very caring of our horses," he said.
A vet checked out Fredo, but even with a clean bill of health, Coppola said Fredo will get the next month off.
For those calling for a ban on horse drawn carriages in Cleveland, Coppola said this is what horses have been doing for centuries.
"These are draft horses. These are pullers. They have pulled on farms," he said. "I believe this is a bit of a rescue itself to take them off that farm and only to work a few days a week."
Coppola said they will not bring the horses down those steep roads in the flats anymore.
The APL says they have looked into this company before and the treatment of the horses. In 2014, the owner was cited for a horse-related offense, but that was later dropped.