Horse and cart rides are all set to trot at Mount Maunganui from the beginning of October, in a retro experience sure to charm young and old. Omokoroa-based Chris and Zara Cumming, the owners of Horses Inc, are launching the rides after two years of planning including intensive training for the horses – rescued from becoming dog tucker at the meatworks. The horses were rescued, rehabilitated and trained and are now like the couple’s children, says Chris.
The company will offer horse and carriage rides in two different carriages. A blue and white eight-seater called Agatha is 120 years old, and “real heritage value” says Chris, “she used to belong to the Tauranga Museum collection.” This carriage will trot a circuit from Drury Park along the beachfront, around past the hot pools, and along Maunganui – and back to Drury Park.
At just $5 a head, the aim is to cover the full spectrum of the market, from those who are “hard-pressed,” to the well-to-do, Chris says. A second carriage named Doris which carries four adults and two children – built in the U.S. at a cost of $35,000 (another $5,000 for the harness gear!) – will be used for half hour rides departing from the front of the Mainstreet offices in downtown Mount Maunganui. The $80 hireage reflects the longer ride, and the need to recover some of the investment in this Visavis Convertible Carriage – to give its proper name.
Chris Cumming says the horse and cart rides appeal to an “unbelievably” large demographic, which covers ‘men and transport,’ women who dream of a princess in a carriage, and kids love the rides as well. And of course, it is “green transport.”
The horse and cart rides, if the Cummings have their way, will play their part in helping to save a “dying art.” And keeping the art alive will allow a lot of ex- trotting and pacer horses to be saved from a pet food fate.
Further Information: Chris Cumming tel 577 1754 or 021 584 220