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Bradenton considers banning horses from the beach

News Channel 8
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 02:32 PM
BRADENTON -

Seeing people riding horses on the shoreline is a common sight for drivers along the Palma Sola Causeway in Bradenton.

A company called Beach Horses offers a one-hour ride for $120 that includes a dip in the water, known as "horse surfing."

But the frolicking horses may soon have to stay in the stables. That's because some causeway neighbors have complained to Bradenton City Council members about the horses.

"They had concerns about horse manure in the water, on the beach," said Tim McCann, a spokesperson with the city. "And I think they also brought up some safety concerns about horses and little kids in the same area close together."

But Beach Horses owner Tim Mattox said his guides always clean up after the horses. And as far as safety goes, he said there has not been an accident in more than three years. He believes Bradenton city leaders are acting on misinformation.

The council recently voted 4 to 1 to ask the city attorney to draft an ordinance banning horses from the beach.

"Of course it would put us out of business," said Mattox, who is hoping the council will reconsider the outright ban.

After just completing her one-hour horse ride Monday, which included a dip in the water, rider Siubhan Clark said she was disappointed to hear about a possible ban of horses on the beach.

"It's a great opportunity to experience Florida and the beaches and nature," she said.

City council members likely will consider the ban at their next meeting, July 20. Before it can become law, there will be a second reading and public hearing.

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