Every year around this time, Fort Collins’ holiday spirit begins
White lights brighten Old Town, shoppers can be seen bustling
around the streets and for the second year, B&R Services’
carriages can be seen taking passengers for a ride around downtown.
Though many people find these rides enjoyable, others do not think
it is an acceptable form of entertainment.
Amanda Miller, event coordinator of the Downtown Business
Association, 19 Old Town Square, said she believes a variety of
people could enjoy the carriage rides, such as kids and
“I think it’s just a wonderful time…” Miller said. “It adds to
the holiday experience down here.”
Not everyone agrees that carriage rides should be an enjoyable
time. Ruth Goldstein, spokesperson for American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, believes that other things should
be taken into account.
“We’re opposed to the act of taking people around in carriages,
in an urban area especially,” Goldstein said. “It’s a completely
inhumane form of entertainment.” Goldstein says a variety of
concerns arise out of the horses being in an urban setting. She
said that the horses breathing exhaust, their stable conditions and
potential motor vehicle accidents are all problems. The ASPCA,
based out of New York City, campaigned to keep the carriages solely
within City Park.
“It’s just not an appropriate environment,” Goldstein said.
Jim Rice, owner of B&R Services, disagrees. He said his
company’s wagons are equipped with turn lights, lanterns, rubber
tires and hydraulic brakes. He said they also re-shoe the horses
“Some people don’t agree with using horses for work,” Rice said.
“(The) teams of horses we have really love to work.”
Rice and his partner Doug Barnes drive the two carriages. To
care for them they provide them with water approximately once an
hour and give them treats sporadically. They provide approximately
nine hours worth of rides.
“We switch our teams out about every two hours,” Rice said.
According to Rice, the horses are very gentle and passengers
have had a very positive response.
“A lot of people get engaged on our carriages in December,” Rice
Rice said many people enjoy the carriage rides, because of the
reminiscent feel they bring to the community.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Rice said. “It brings back the old days of