NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A man faces an animal cruelty charge after he was videoed hitting and kicking his frightened horse in a New Orleans parade in the lead-up to Mardi Gras, the Louisiana SPCA says. A parade-goer made a video of the incident Friday.
The rider was a guest of the riding group Nu Generations in the Krewe of Oshun parade, an SPCA news release said Tuesday. The krewe's captain accompanied him to Louisiana SPCA headquarters Monday.
"It looks like the horse got frightened and the crowds were too much and it just shut down," Louisiana SPCA spokeswoman Alicia Haefele said in a phone interview. "It did not want to walk any further. That's when the rider got upset."
The SPCA is not releasing the rider's name, but said the captain told officials he won't be allowed to ride with Nu Generations again.
Here he is! The horse seen beaten during the Krewe of Oshun parade is in @LASPCA custody for now. A judge will decide if he can be returned to his owner, who has been cited for animal cruelty. @WWLTV pic.twitter.com/QEUa5aDXfw
— Lauren Bale (@LaurenBaleWWLTV) February 6, 2018
"We've spoken with the horse's original owner," Haefele said. "The person in the parade had only been in possession one month. The original owner made it clear the horse was not parade-ready."
Haefele said the SPCA took the horse into custody Tuesday, working with animal control in the parish where it was stabled.
People accused of animal cruelty cannot have animals in their care, she said.
Haefele said the man is to be arraigned Feb. 15.
Once the SPCA has completed its investigation, the files will be turned over to the city, which will decide whether to prosecute, Haefele said.