Conde Cavaliers break silence on horse slapping, kicking incident during parade

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Conde Cavaliers are breaking their silence after a horse reportedly collapsed Friday night during Mobile’s first Mardi Gras parade of the season.

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In a phone call to News 5, the Conde Cavaliers expressed that Mardi Gras societies normally do not comment on situations that occur during parades, but due to the events that took place, they hoped to clear the air.

The Conde Cavaliers stated in a press release that they are continuing to investigate the horse slapping and kicking incident that went viral Friday and Saturday.

In the meantime, here’s what the group said it can tell News 5.

“The Conde Cavaliers, as well as most parading societies, lease all the horses used for parading from a contracted stable,” the mystic society said. “The stable establishes the guidelines for riders, assigns the horses, and prepares the animals for the ride.

“Our contract also includes trainers for the horses and all decisions regarding the animals during the parade are made by those trainers.”

WKRG News 5 learned that the Conde Cavaliers’ horses are from a contractor in Mississippi, but that company does not wish to comment or be named to the media.

Following the release of several videos on social media, News 5 noticed a particular comment among concerned people: whether the masked rider met the weight requirements to ride the horse.

The Conde Cavaliers said that although the man’s costume makes him appear large, the marshal involved was below the size limits established by the stable.

“Measurements for all Marshals were submitted prior to the parade and horses were assigned by their staff,” the Conde Cavaliers said.

The trainer told the Conde Cavaliers that the horse is healthy but became anxious due to the crowd noise, so it lied down.

“While doing so, the Marshal’s foot became tangled in the stirrup, requiring him to exit the saddle,” the Conde Cavaliers said. “After assessing the horse, the Marshal was directed by the trainer to remount it so the parade could continue.”

During the video, the man riding the horse remains seated while the animal lies down. The trainer then walks up to the horse and appears to slap and kick it until it stands up.

“The trainers are included in the parade for unexpected situations such as this, and our Marshals have been instructed to follow their direction. The Condes are unaware of any health-related issues or medical treatment for any of the leased animals,” The Conde Cavaliers said.

The Mobile Police Department and Animal Services are working to determine whether criminal charges are appropriate.

The Conde Cavaliers say that they are working with the Mobile PD to ensure the well-being of the horses used in parades in the future.

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