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Vienna's real-pony carousel to close


Under fire from animal rights activists and losing money anyway, one of Vienna's unique attractions is about to disappear: a carousel that uses actual horses instead of replicas.

The carousel in the famous Prater amusement park has been operating since 1887 but will close at the end of this summer season. The owner decided after talks with animal rights groups to end the ride. She cited both financial difficulties and increasing hostility toward the ride and its staff.

The ponies will be rehoused on farms. The owners are deciding whether to replace it with a more standard carousel, which would be expensive, or using the site for a food business instead.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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Assuming these ponies are well cared for, as most animal owners do for their animals, the children of Vienna are being denied an important experience.  The opportunity to interact with and enjoy a large animal and ride on it.  Where else will kids living in a large city go for such an experience?  I recall with great fondness and excitement my first pony rides at the fair and am tired of a shrill minority dictating its will to the rest of us.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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