Horse shown being beaten on parade route now in the care of SPCA

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The SPCA has cited the rider captured on video beating a horse on a parade route Friday night.

"Shocked, just dismay to see it happening and see it continue. We've never had that happen on a parade route before so I think we were all just taken aback that this was happening," Louisiana SPCA CEO Ana Zorrilla said.

The horse is with SPCA while the case unfolds.

"Because we charged the rider with cruelty, we are required to impound any animals that that person owns," Zorrilla said.

SPCA cited the guest rider with the group Nu Generations with animal cruelty Monday.

"My understanding is that the rider is from the area, but it was his first time riding in a parade, and it was the horse's first time riding in a parade," Zorrilla said.

She said both the rider and captain of the group are cooperating.

"He was certainly remorseful about what happened, but at the end of the day what he did was wrong and he broke the law and we have to hold him accountable for that," Zorrilla said.

The SPCA inspected the horse before Friday's parade.

"This horse is in good health, was up to date on all its required vaccinations and tests, so there was nothing in our initial inspection to indicate that it had not been in a parade before," Zorrilla said.

FOX 8 also reached out to the NOPD Mounted Unit about the video.

"That video is actually where a horse is doing what looks like to me, doing what it's supposed to do. It's just the rider is inexperienced and doesn't know the horse. It's pulling on the reigns and the horse is backing up like it's trained to do," Commander Jeff Walls said.

He has some tips for managing overwhelmed horses in parades.

"Basically just turn them to the left, turn them inside until they calm down a little bit and get off the horse, then we'll walk them till they calm down," Walls said.

SPCA said the rider will now have to face a judge.

"We've certainly heard from a lot of people that want to make sure this rider is penalized," Zorrilla said.

The captain of Nu Generations did not want to comment.

The SPCA said the accused will be arraigned in civil court on Feb. 15. He could potentially face state felony charges.