Griffith Park Ponies Get a Wellness Check

(Los Angeles) Los Angeles City Councilmembers Nithya Raman (CD4) and Paul Koretz (CD5) requested a report on the health and wellbeing of the ponies at the Griffith Park Pony Ride facility.

girffith park ponies
LA City Councilmember Nithya Raman introduced a motion to inspect and report back on the health and wellbeing of Griffith Park ponies and horses after receiving complaints from the public on the animals’ treatment. Stock Photo by Boys in Bristol Photography from Pexels

According to councilmember Raman, animal rights groups and community members have been raising concerns for the treatment of the horses. The LA Dept. of Recreation and Parks is working with a third-party equestrian expert to review and report on the operation and its treatment of the ponies at Griffith Park.

“In the past few months, my office has received numerous concerns from the community regarding the potential mistreatment of the horses at the Griffith Park Pony Rides — concerns that we take very seriously,” said councilmember Raman. “It is critical that we do our due diligence to assess the situation and make appropriate recommendations.”

The organization that runs the Griffith Park ponies has denied claims of abuse. The owner, Stephen Weeks, told the LA Times he believed the inspection would show no mistreatment. He said he hopes that will put an end to recent protests that have interrupted business at the facility in recent weeks.

The city council motion asks the Department of Recreation and Parks to report back on any necessary changes to the operation of the pony rides as well as any improvements to be made to the inspection process.

The report will compare Griffith Park pony rides with the treatment of horses by other comparable cities where horses are used for similar entertainment purposes. The city’s Dept. of Animal Services has been instructed to report back to Council within 45 days on their current inspection process and provide recommendations to improve the inspection process for the most favorable outcomes for the horses’ wellbeing.

The Griffith Park pony rides have been in operation in some form since 1948 and the facilities underwent major upgrades in 2017, according to the company’s website.

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