Monday, January 30, 2023

Colonial Williamsburg dog Liberty falls during carriage ride

Sunday turned out to be a rough day for Colonial Williamsburg’s canine mascot, Liberty the Briard, after she leapt and fell from a carriage.

But good news: Liberty is fine.

“Fortunately, the only thing injured was Liberty’s pride,” Director of Coach and Livestock Paul Bennett said in a Colonial Williamsburg Facebook post.

According to the post, Liberty and her handler were riding in the Randolph Carriage Sunday afternoon when Liberty jumped from the carriage and fell to the ground.

Colonial Williamsburg spokesman Joseph Straw said the distance from the carriage gate to the ground was about three feet.

After the fall, Liberty was “rushed” to a veterinarian, who conducted multiple tests and determined she was not injured, the post said.

The post said Colonial Williamsburg had received feedback from some people who were “understandably concerned.” Straw said guests and staff reached out to Colonial Williamsburg via social media and text message to make sure Liberty was okay.

“Animal safety is our top priority,” Bennett said. “but animals will be animals, so you have to be ready for the unexpected. That’s why we put so much emphasis on training (both for our four-legged and two-legged staff), and creating guidelines that minimize risk.”

The post said Bennett requires Liberty and her canine counterpart Justice to always be accompanied by a certified trainer when in the Historic Area.

Liberty was scheduled to be out in Colonial Williamsburg Monday afternoon, and will return to full duties Tuesday.

This story has been updated with information from Colonial Williamsburg spokesman Joseph Straw. 

Sunday turned out to be a rough day for Colonial Williamsburg’s canine mascot, Liberty the Briard, after she leapt and fell from a carriage. (Courtesy photo/Colonial Williamsburg)
Sunday turned out to be a rough day for Colonial Williamsburg’s canine mascot, Liberty the Briard, after she leapt and fell from a carriage. (Courtesy photo/Colonial Williamsburg)
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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