Jerry the horse dies following collapse in Downtown Salt Lake City

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  • Mont Pugmire Fairview, UT
    Sept. 1, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    Just like Greenpeace was high jacked by extremists negating their value as a legitimate source of environmental information, the PETA people are so far away from sensibility that the majority of people discount virtually anything they say as the extremist point of view that it is. My heart goes out to those owners who have lost a friend and "colleague" and who certainly don't deserve the uninformed insults being heaped upon them. And they certainly don't need liberal Mayor Becker looking over their shoulder. My gosh people. The horse died of an illness. It is sad but it happens ... and sometimes too rapidly to stop its progression. M Pugmire, Montevideo, Uruguay, S.A.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    Sept. 1, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    O man, we have gone mad, for sure. I grew up with Horses, Mules, Goats, etc, etc. We used to work horses all day long, staking logs, pulling wagons, uprooting stumps and never knew of anyone of them dying because of work.

    Horses, at one time, were the major mode of land transportation and people used them. There were no fancy stalls that kept them, they survived in all weather conditions.

    Why in the world would anyone want to kill a human being because a horse died? It is beyond my understanding.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 10:40 p.m.

    I like PETA and Mayor Becker since both make me laugh and bring humor into a rather dull day. You ought to have seen the care my Uncle gave his horses and one of them got colic and died soon after, but no sign of PETA. Congress should appropriate at least $500,000 to study Jerry and at the same time the mental condition of those who stood out with their signs in ignorance. Isn't it interesting that more than 95% of those writing in to this column have shown how PETA members lack in their understanding of animals for which they try to make us believe they are the authorities. They don't understand colic whereas most babies have a complete and full understanding. Oh well.

  • speakup Layton, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 10:45 p.m.

    I support the Overson's and Carriage for Hire. I know for a fact they treat their working horses remarkably well. This is an unfortunate event and having lost my own well-taken care of working horse to colic, my heart breaks for their loss.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    @ larmarse...

    Bull pucky... our horses are on several acres of pasture grass, meaning not weedy and are frequently looked at by a very experienced vet... We also buy first crop hay .... oats and our horses are kept in a enclose facility much like this animal was.
    Colic can occur without warning. Kills fast and can occur in any breed horse.

    PETA needs to pay more attention to their own sad, mislead lives. By the way PETA, plants are alive too. Better stopped eating veggies.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 27, 2013 6:42 p.m.

    People are holding a vigil for a horse that died?

    Oh, brother.

    Want to know when someone is REALLY lost?

    They don't even know they are lost.

    Puzzle over that one.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    Horses become humanized when they are named and interact with humans.

    The entire community is interested in the truth here; the clumsiness of the Oversons' response made them seem untrustworthy.
    The horse died on Friday, and on Saturday Mrs Overson said he was getting better

    No lie goes unpunished. Let's find the truth.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    I sympathize with the plight of horses. We humans got them involved against their wills in our wars and in our industries. The riding and the agricultural uses I can understand as long as the horse get adequate feed, water, care, and rest. The racing of underage, overbred young horses for gambling purposes is barbaric; the racing of mature horses isn't much better either. As for horses pulling heavy carriages in the heat and cold / hard surfaces / polluted air of SLC, if Jerry's death lead to retiring horses off SLC's streets, his fate has purpose. Today remembering our equine friends and what we do to them.

  • MileHighCougarFan Brighton, CO
    Aug. 27, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    I really wonder if anyone from PETA has critical thinking skills when it comes to making statements relative to facts. HORSES GET COLIC. IT IS A FACT. MANY DIE FROM IT. But most of the information PETA has relative to animals comes from watching BAMBI as a kid.

    I grew up around horses, and I can say that every horse owner I have ever known is constantly watching for any behavior that would indicate colic. I have seen horses be perfectly healthy and suddenly begin to colic and unfortunately sometimes die.

    I don't own horses as an adult because they are a great responsibility. But horse lovers are more dedicated to their animals than anyone I have ever met (even dog lovers.)

    And those large beautiful animals love to work. It is in their DNA. They are built that way for a reason. If they did not pull carriages around downtown, they would not have a job. Hmm, liberals taking away jobs, what a stretch.

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    I think that animal rights activists have taken this issue way too far. I like the carriages in downtown. It adds character and charm to downtown. It reminds me of the pioneers who came with ox and wagon to settle this great state and helps remind me to slow down once in a while. These horses are work horses. They live to work. Animals are hardier than we give them credit for. It's sad that one incident where a horse gets sick is taken completely out of proportion and blown out of perspective. A horse got sick and died. If a human were to get sick and die, would the human rights activists say we are not treating each other well and ban our activities to keep the rest of us healthy and strong? How would we feel if human rights activists banned youth sports/dance/gymnastics because a girl broke her wrist, or a boy sprained his ankle? If there were a trend of horse deaths, that would be something to look into. But one death that appears to come from a common horse ailment I think is nothing to get riled up about.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Mayor Becker, are you going to give this horse a state funeral. Will he have a public viewing in the capitol rotunda? I also think that if PETA wants a Necropsy on poor Jerry, then they should be willing to pay for it! I also raise horses, and I agree Equssrider. It can happen anytime, anywhere, and to horses that are neglected or who have the best of care. For an organization to use this unforseen and unpreventable incident to further their agenda is simply disgusting, and they (PETA) will never see another penny from me.

  • Jefferson Kalispell, MT
    Aug. 27, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    30 years ago my wife started having some medical problems. Nothing major. The doctors assured us they would run a few tests, diagnose the problem and get it under control. We were very relieved and she was very happy. Three days later she passed away quietly in her sleep. She was 21 years old. Now, this is a young and "healthy" person getting the best medical care, and she died. It happens. It wasn't the doctors fault. It wasn't my fault. It just was. That happens to people EVERY DAY, but it happens to a horse and activists with an agenda want to crucify someone and use it to promote their agenda. I think Jerry had a good life and I like to think he has gone to greener pastures. Adios, buddy.

  • equusrider Bluffdale, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    @ lamarse, you really have no clue what you are talking about. ANY HORSE, in a pasture, on the range, in a stall, on good feed/bad feed, from the $10 pony to the multimillion dollar pampered horse can get colic, It CAN be caused MANY different factors depending on the type of colic, gas colic, twisted intestine, impacted colon: bad feed yes, but also feed that is too rich, toxins, too much exercise, not enough exercise, even sudden weather changes. It is the number one killer of horses. It can take a horse down in less than an hour, and it is the scariest word a horseman can hear. One minute your horse is fine and the next they are not. A friend of mine lost one of their horses to colic and he was the best cared for horse I have ever seen. My horse has had colic, fortunately she survived.

    Yes, the owners should have been more honest but I cant blame them. They were trying to avoid the public reaction outcry; like yours, from people who dont know what they are talking about; coming down and destroying their love, and their livelihood.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    I vote that we all back off and let the facts speak for themselves. How sad that the Mayor has entered the fray and taken the side of the over-reacting people who know nothing about animal husbandry!. I predict he will change his mind when he looks at the tax revenue that comes into the city from the horse drawn carriage businesses. Sadly, when you look at the ridiculously over priced parking fees with his new parking meters and such, it appears Mayor Becker is really focused on the dollars for the city. If it turns out that objective evidence proves that Jerry was not over stressed and died of the colic, at that point the Mayor should calmly consider promoting the investigation. Until those facts are established, he and we should withhold any emotional judgements.

  • Tuffy Parker Salem, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 11:48 p.m.

    Sorry lamarse, but these are working horses. If they don't work they serve no meaningful purpose. Because they are working animals, they receive excellent care. People get sick and die. Animals get sick and die. It's part of life.

  • lamarse Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:31 p.m.

    Unfortunately most people can't see past the PETA brand in the story. I am not affiliated with PETA but like most people love animals so I will try to not lose focus of the outcome. A horse died and the owners have shown they have been less than honest in this tragedy. Colic is party due to poor diet but mostly due to a lack of access to grazing and forage. (Horses on the range never get colic). Horse owners really need to provide adequate feed and pasture for their horses. I am assuming these horses don't have access to pasture if they are boarded in downtown SLC. Bare minimum a horse with colic shouldn't be out pulling a carriage around out on the street.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:59 p.m.

    I have been around horses growing up, (my dad raised horses for many years) and am a native Salt Lake City girl. PETA is completely out to lunch, and show their ignorance when stating that it was all about the heat, and being "overworked". There are many horse breeds out there that are classified as "working animals". They do love going to "work" and being around people. Colic in large animals can happen. I have heard of large animals being fine one day, and getting colic and dying the next. Through something as simple as moist feed. If you take a look at the photos of the horse on the ground, you can easily see that this horse is not neglected or underfed. You can also see that he does not have a swayed back. You see an animal with a swollen belly. (Colic) The horses I have seen downtown working are beautiful animals, and are very well cared for. It would be a shame to see them go away simply because a bunch of "city folk" don't know what they are talking about.

  • joy Logan, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:56 p.m.

    Death threats? Really? What a sick bunch of people. A horse dies of colic and they get outraged and want
    to kill another human. Have we lost all common sense?
    PETA has a purpose but they often over reach and need to back off.

  • facts are a good thing Saint George, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:28 p.m.

    It would be nice if the reporter got some facts about colic from a someone who knows - it would show that PETA doesn't have a leg to stand on here. Colic can happen at anytime without any warning. It's when the intestine of the horse twists. The intestine is constantly moving - that's normal and healthy. Sometimes, it twists or kinks - this is commonly called colic. If caught quickly, sometimes surgery is an option - but surgery is extremely expensive, and often just getting the horse to a facility that can perform the complicated procedure would take too long. Oh - and a horse that successfully undergoes surgery for colic is exponentially more likely to get it again. And again.

    The owners have been bullied in this instance by not only PETA, but an uneducated public - and honestly, the news reporting has been subpar to not explain the facts of what colic is.