After nearly two years of discussion and debate, Donnie Lambert said that he does not plan to bring his horse-drawn carriage rides back to Frederick in December, save for the Kris Kringle Procession scheduled for Dec. 13. Instead, he said, he will take individual ride requests by appointment via his carriage company’s website.

At issue, Lambert said, is safety. Despite the Board of Aldermen voting to amend an ordinance in early October to clarify rest times for the horses, he explained that he still worries about protesters heckling not just him and his horses, but also the kids and families who sign up for rides.

“As a family, we decided that for the safety of the kids and horses, I’m just not going to do it,” Lambert said Friday. “I just can’t put myself through this and I can’t put the kids through this stuff. It’s just too much stress.”

Mayor Michael O’Connor said that he, too, is let down that the rides won’t be offered to the public on a consistent basis in Frederick this holiday season.

“I completely understand the concern that the Lamberts have, and I feel awful about the language that’s been used against them,” O’Connor said. “A lot of it is inappropriate and disappointing, so I’m saddened that people would come into our community and say what they say. The city does support what the Lambert family does.”

The sticking point for Lambert is the proximity of potential protesters to him during the rides. He said that while he is thankful the city clarified the rest ordinance last month, he also lobbied for the police force to keep the protesters at least half a block away from his horses. The best officials told him they could do, he said, was keep them between 30 and 50 feet away.

Though he won’t be in Frederick as often this year, Lambert noted that he will offer rides in Mount Airy every Friday night in November. Also, with the exception of Nov. 30, he plans to bring his horses to North Market Street each Saturday in November as part of a deal with the Downtown Frederick Partnership.

Whether the Lamberts would continue to provide the service dates back to 2017, when protests began as animal rights activists alleged the horses used for the rides were being mistreated. In October 2018, a group of protesters attended a Board of Aldermen workshop to advocate a ban of horse-drawn carriage rides in the city. Among the concerns the group voiced were traffic and public safety, inhumane conditions for the horses and a lack of law enforcement.

“Common sense tells us that horses should be in pastures and not overloaded by heavy carriages while being forced to compete with cars, trucks and motorcycles on the road,” Frederick resident Stacy Boyer told the board in 2018. “Will Frederick wait for an accident to happen that injures, maims, or kills pedestrians or a horse because they refuse to acknowledge that horses do not belong in carriages?”

As a result of the protests, which led to “kids riding on the cart, crying because they’re scared of the protesters,” as Lambert said last month, the family has been negotiating with the city to make their rides as safe as possible. Without at least a half-block cushion, though, Lambert believes that the same “harassment and a form of terrorism” would formulate again this holiday season.

Because of that, he hopes to take a more unpredictable approach to this year’s rides.

“I have had a bunch of nice people reach out about private rides, but nobody is going to know when I’m going to show up and where I’m going to show up at,” he said. “I just don’t get it. Why do they need to be on top of me? I understand First Amendment rights, but why can’t they do what they want to do and not be on top of me?”

O’Connor, meanwhile, kept the door open for the future.

“We’re going to continue to look at it,” he said. “What the city doesn’t control is [Lambert’s] comfort level in dealing with First Amendment rights of those who are opposed to his rides. Our police department remains committed to work with the Lamberts to figure out logistics to satisfy the carriage rides and also respect First Amendment privileges of all residents.

“We would welcome the opportunity to continue to work with the Lamberts to make rides viable in the city,” he added. “That’s what we want. We’re disappointed that a small group of people are having such an influence.”

Lambert, meanwhile, expressed disappointment with the outcome.

“You don’t know how much it makes me sad that I’m not doing it,” he said, “but it got to the point where I wasn’t sleeping at night because I was worried about this. I told the mayor I’d be back next year if he can figure out what to do. I just don’t want to put these kids through that stuff. It’s just not right.”

Follow Colin McGuire on Twitter:


(122) comments


Once again, there was no "+ Add Reply" button. Hey FNP, have you heard the 'good news' about forums? ;-)

On Nov 6, 2019 @ 9:33pm, public-redux wrote:

[Quote from my earlier post]: “In my concert analogy, the *protesters* are equivalent to the concert promoter. They have decided to stage an "event"”

[public]: "Seriously? Hasn’t the concert promoter/horse owner decided to stage an event? An event which the concert promoter/horse owner knows might (or might not) prove controversial. It is certainly his right to put on a concert/offer carriage rides but knowing, as he does, that it could be controversial, isn’t it his responsibility to provide for security? I don’t see why the taxpayers should be on the hook for providing security for a profit-making venture that the business owner knows could be controversial."


Now where did I put those tweezers... ;-)

OK, for sake of discussion (and because I'm getting dizzy) let's say that the Lamberts and the protesters are equally responsible for any "civil unrest".

The fact that police presence is required does not change. Who should pay for it? How do you think it should be handled?

Cost split 50/50 between the Lamberts and the protesters?

Cost covered 100% by taxpayer dollars? You said, "I don’t see why the taxpayers should be on the hook for providing security for a profit-making venture that the business owner knows could be controversial", so I'm guessing that's a non-starter.

It sounds to me like we're on the same page -- or at the very least we both agree that we taxpayers should not be on the hook for security and/or any other expenses directly related to protests/demonstrations/events/etc -- whether for-profit or non-profit. People are free to exercise their First Amendment rights, but we have no obligation to facilitate their actions.

Currently, if I'm not mistaken, when there are protests against the Lambert's carriage rides, the general public -- city and county taxpayers -- are picking up the tab for any FPD officers assigned to "keep the peace". Is that correct?

Are there ANY limits to how often the PETA people can protest -- or can they show up every day and demand free protection?

I asked this in another post, but speaking generally it seems that all/most of the costs directly related to demonstrations -- ambulances and EMTs/paramedics on standby; police protection; barricades; port-a-johns, etc, are covered by taxpayers. To the extent that is the case, it is dead wrong.

Take my earlier example of a neo-Nazi/white supremacist hate group marching through a majority Jewish, Hispanic, or black community. It's bad enough that they are allowed to demonstrate in that location, but then to require that we (including members of the targeted community) all cover their expenses is grossly unfair, and a violation of OUR rights.

In addition, in that case, the residents of the neighborhood do not = the Lamberts. They are not doing anything. They are simply living their lives, not protesting, not engaging in a for-profit activity. They certainly should not have to pay.


On Nov 5, 2019 @ 5:06pm, public-redux wrote:

"When you wrote "Can a group protest weekly -- or daily -- and expect free police protection every time?" it lead me to think that you were referring to police protection of the group protesting. My mistake.

What expenses of the PETA protesters are being covered by taxpayers?

I hope you agree that if the protesters are being harassed and/or threatened by other folk, the police should take appropriate action against the people doing the threatening."


Of course I agree that "if the protesters are being harassed and/or threatened by other folk, the police should take appropriate action against the people doing the threatening." That goes without saying. It would be ridiculous to suggest otherwise. I also agree that the sky is blue.

I actually *was* referring to police protection of the group protesting -- AND of course anyone else who is in harm's way.

My point is that the primary reason the police protection is required is that people are demonstrating/protesting. That is the expense that is being covered -- by us taxpayers. I'm not a concert/event promoter, but my understanding is that concerts, ball games, festivals, fairs, etc, are expected to cover their own security expenses. As far as I know, tax payers do not pay for the police officers working OT at Keys baseball games, or concerts at the stadium -- so why should a group exercising their First Amendment rights be given police protection on the taxpayer's dime? That is tantamount to requiring us to pay to lease billboards for them to promote their views.

We have the "right to bear arms", but that does not mean we can expect our fellow citizens to purchase our ammo for us.

Along with the right to free speech comes the responsibility of providing any security that may be required. We have the right to go into a biker bar and start yelling, "Only girly men ride Harleys" -- but it is on us to foresee that there may be very negative consequences to that. If we feel we may need protection, it is up to us to pay for it.

Even those who are OK with paying for the increased law enforcement presence at demonstrations must admit that there are practical limits to how many, and how often, officers can be redirected to keeping protesters and counter-protesters from brawling and/or going on a shooting spree. I'm not sure how that is handled. For example, there are the periodic 'hot button issue' marches in D.C. If those groups had their way, they would be down there every month, or every week. Why not? All of the big associated expenses are covered by tax dollars. I'm guessing that the scheduling of protests is controlled by the NPS issuing permits. I'm surprised that the permit requirement has been upheld -- after all, that is a serious restriction on free speech, right? Without researching it, my guess is that the courts have held that even freedom of speech is subject to some practical limits. Without the permit policy there would periodically be total anarchy in D.C.when opposing groups got together: Gun control and NRA supporters; pro life and pro choice; fundamentalist Christians and gay pride parades, etc.

I totally support the right of people to say whatever they want (subject to the few established limitations) -- even those whose views I despise. What I object to is being forced to support their attempt to spread their beliefs by paying for anything associated with it.




In your concert analogy, the Lamberts are equivalent to the concert promoter, are they not? Paying for security would fall to them, by your logic.

It is unclear to me why you think the good people of Frederick constitute a threat to the PETA protesters. But if the citizenry cannot be trusted to abide by the law, I fail to see why the PETA folk should be held responsible for the destructive behavior or threat of harm of others.

"Nice little protest you have there. Be a shame if anything happened to it." We generally reject that sort of shakedown.



In my concert analogy, the *protesters* are equivalent to the concert promoter. They have decided to stage an "event" -- a demonstration or protest. That is their right, but similar to a concert promoter or management of a ball team, THEY (the protesters) should be responsible for their own security expenses. Hot button issues aside, it is common knowledge that when large groups of humans gather there is a higher likelihood of medical emergencies and/or altercations.

If they are protesting "terrorism" or child abuse they probably won't need any police protection at all. In fact, many of the "good people of Frederick" will likely join in. However, if they are burning Trump (or Obama, etc) in effigy, they may need some protection.

Granted, the members of the public have the responsibility to control themselves, but as you know, there are exceptions to free speech that apply. Nine basic ones are:

* Obscenity

* Fighting words

* Defamation (including libel and slander)

* Child pornography

* Perjury

* Blackmail

* Incitement to imminent lawless action

* True threats

* Solicitations to commit crimes

Of those, at a typical protest we might find: Obscenity; Fighting words; Incitement to imminent lawless action; True threats; and/or Solicitations to commit crimes.

When it comes to certain issues -- religious, political, social -- the organizers of a protest/demonstration know, or certainly should foresee, that their intended actions and language could be considered (or flat-out are) fighting words, threats, solicitations to commit crimes, and may incite imminent lawless action.

For example, if the animal rights protesters badger and harass, scream and cuss, are vulgar and call people names -- especially in front of their children -- for long enough, it can be foreseen that eventually people will get sick of it. The protester's language is definitely obscenity and might very well be determined to be fighting words, threats, and/or inciting imminent lawless action. In which case it is not protected speech, and they can be held liable for the results -- which is why they might want to have police presence, so they can get away with it and not be attacked or sued.

But let's say you think even then they deserve taxpayer funded police protection. Where does it end? It is clearly impossible for the FPD to provide protection for an unlimited number of protests of unlimited size. Suppose the FPD does have the resources to provide protection for these protesters though. How often should they do so? Once a year? Every month? Every week? How about if they want to protest every day? Should we all pay for that?

The bottom line is, we all have freedom of speech. If we are wealthy enough we can buy TV or radio time, rent a billboard, or take out full page ads in several papers. However, we cannot expect others to cover those expenses for us. If a person does not have a lot of money, they can still create their own webpage; forum; blog; and/or YouTube channel. They can advertise on social media. In that way they can potentially reach millions of people -- far more than will typically be reached by screaming on a street corner. Point being, people have a variety of options to exercise free speech. If they still insist on having a public demonstration that's their right, but they should cover any expenses -- especially if their speech is included it one or more of the above 9 broad categories that are not protected.

To disagree is to say that a person/group should not only be allowed to march through a predominantly [pick a group] area yelling religious/racial/ethnic slurs, AND, they should receive taxpayer funded police protection -- and be free to do that day after day.


“In my concert analogy, the *protesters* are equivalent to the concert promoter. They have decided to stage an "event"”

Seriously? Hasn’t the concert promoter/horse owner decided to stage an event? An event which the concert promoter/horse owner knows might (or might not) prove controversial. It is certainly his right to put on a concert/offer carriage rides but knowing, as he does, that it could be controversial, isn’t it his responsibility to provide for security? I don’t see why the taxpayers should be on the hook for providing security for a profit-making venture that the business owner knows could be controversial.



How much money is a city required to pay for additional police protection as a direct result of protests?

Is there a limit?

Can a group protest weekly -- or daily -- and expect free police protection every time?

Regardless of whether we agree with the protesters or not, while they have the right to free speech, I've never understood why taxpayers are required to provide free security for them.


Who is threatening the PETA protesters?


Good question public.

If you're referring to the people protesting the Lambert's carriage rides, I have not witnessed the demonstrations personally, so I can't comment on that, but apparently there is enough concern for their safety and/or the safety of the Lamberts, their customers, and/or uninvolved members of the public, that city officials believe police protection/presence is warranted.

While I fully support all US citizens' 1st Amendment rights (even those who are obnoxious morons) I do not believe the Constitution mentions free police protection, and in some cases -- barricades, portable toilets, road closures, ambulances standing by, etc.

Everyone has the right to freedom of speech, but that right should not include taxpayers -- many/most of whom may vehemently disagree with their position -- being forced under penalty of law to cover their expenses.


When you wrote "Can a group protest weekly -- or daily -- and expect free police protection every time?" it lead me to think that you were referring to police protection of the group protesting. My mistake.

What expenses of the PETA protesters are being covered by taxpayers?

I hope you agree that if the protesters are being harassed and/or threatened by other folk, the police should take appropriate action against the people doing the threatening.


The city should step up to these protestors. Because they are the ones causing safety issues. When they are loudly causing chaos where horses are THIS CAUSES A PROBLEM.


What’s with this mayor? Is he on the Lambert payroll? Because I don’t understand his comments otherwise.


He sounded reasonable, what is your beef?


Because he supports the Lamberts....are you one of the fools causing more harm by taunting on the sidelines?


It’s my understanding that that protesters are causing most of the problems when the carriage is being loaded and unloaded with passengers. If the Lambert’s could find private property downtown to operate out of the protestors could be kept away.

Someone mentioned about these wackos going to the Frederick fair. The fair is private property. If the fair doesn’t like you they can have you leave. If the Lambert’s could operate off a private lot they could distance themselves from the protesters.


My daughter and I did not even ride the horses yesterday but we were screamed at for being animal abusers because I simply asked the protesters if they had any animals at home, of course they all said yes but it was different they were companions not for entertainment and they did not abuse their animals. I can tell you I saw no signs of abuse for the horses, in fact they looked healthier than the protesters😉


Isn't holding an animal against its free will abuse? What dog doesn't want to run free? What cat doesn't want to chase mice, insects, birds, etc. outside? How about we put a leash on those people's children and then see if they claim it is abuse?


Nor will you find any abuse with these animals. They receive the best of care, and are continually monitored.


I should have been more clear. I was actually using the protestors' logic to argue against the protestors who have animals but say they aren't cruel to them. In for a penny, in for a pound. I don't believe putting a leash on a dog for its protection is cruel but I also don't think having a draft horse pull a relatively light load (even in traffic if that's what they're trained for) is cruel. Coversely, in this particular case, I can't see how not letting a horse have its own free will is worse than not letting a dog have its own free will. I bet some of the protestors dress their dog's up. Now that is cruel.


I am glad you got my point! The protesters draw a line saying it’s ok for them to contain animals at home in an unnatural state because they call them ‘companions’. They are hypocrites and have no real moral compass when comes to animals.


On Nov 3, 2019 @ 4:53pm, public-redux wrote:

“* The right of families to enjoy a carriage ride without their young children being scared and hearing foul language.”

public: "I’m unfamiliar with this “right”. Is it in a constitution?"

“* The right of FredCo citizens and visitors to enjoy spending time downtown -- to "peaceably assemble".”

public: "The right to peaceably assemble means government cannot prohibit and/or impede assembly. It has nothing to do with government preventing one group from peaceably assembling so as to enhance the enjoyment of another group. You don’t have a right to have a good time."


Sharp eye there public.

The basic definition of "peaceably assemble" is to gather into a group in a non-violent way -- e.g., to assemble along Carroll Creek or in Baker Park to enjoy a concert. I put it in quotes to indicate that I was using the 2 words in that way, but I probably should have just used different language.

There are several different types of rights, most of which are not included in the constitution: Natural Rights; Moral Rights; Civil Rights; Political Rights; Fundamental Rights; Human Rights; Claim Rights, and Economic Rights.

That said, of course there is no delineated 'right to have a good time'. What we do have is the right to file a lawsuit against a person or group who harms us in some way. I would encourage the Lamberts and anyone else who was/is negatively affected by the obnoxious protesters to consider filing a civil suit (after consulting an attorney of course).


I believe it would fall under the right to pursue happiness (contained in the Declaration of Independence and could be infeffered in the U.S. Constitution under the "general welfare" clause). If the activity is legal and it makes them happy, they have a right to pursue it. The protestors have the right to protest (with certain legal limitations). They don't have the right to make things unsafe for those who are lawfully pursuing their own legal rights.


Its a shame a small group of protesters have caused the carriage rides to come practically to a end.Hope all the protesters have a Happy Holiday and receive all the coal they deserve


I agree. It's a shame a few loud, unruly people, who know not of what they speak can ruin such an enjoyable event. That's what happens when you have people from everywhere else, move into a beautiful place like Frederick County, for all it has to offer, but, NO knowledge of it's history, and none whatsoever about the agriculture and history of the animals here. I've known the Lamberts for decades and know they would do nothing to harm those horses or any person. These people are just folks who need to brush up on history, and have too much time on their hands, that they can use their time to harrass innocent people. What a shame. I was born and raised in Frederick County, and left because it is no longer native friendly.




Not that small. I go to the armory gym and last December there were 2 dozen protesters on one side (liberal) and 50 counter protesters (Trump heads) on the other side with a 6 police officer keeping both sides-at-bay. Several of the counter protesters were aggressively approaching the protesters. It was tense. One counter protester spit in my face and called me an Obama boy. Funny thing is I just went to the gym to work out. I grew up in farm country and we owned horses and pigs so I don't see what the fuss is but this drama is further evidence of our national cultural divide.


Glad the mayor backed them and stood for a ride! Just like he is there for other things! Of course this isn’t a bike lane to nowhere!

He could have made this right!


As an animal welfare advocate and one who has worked for a national animal protection advocacy organization, I think this is primarily an issue of people being encouraged nationwide to oppose an activity (carriage rides) that sometimes is carried out in an inhumane manner. Yes, some carriage ride operations in some places are conducted in an obviously inhumane manner. Personally, I don't think that's the case in Frederick, MD. I've taken a Frederick carriage ride and the horses and mules have seemed to be treated with compassion and respect. While some people oppose any use of a nonhuman animal (and I do understand the arguments), I think most of us can assess pretty accurately whether the animals are enjoying themselves and are being treated with kindness and respect. In this particular case, and given that we as a society currently accept the use of animals for activities that correspond with what they were bred and raised to do, I personally think that these carriage rides are just about the last thing we should be worried about. Check out the conditions on a factory farm, learn how farmers "deal with" predators, research dog training methods, ... any of these topics is worthy of greater attention in my opinion.

Pete the Pirate

YOU, and your "kind" ARE the problem stereotyping people/businesses!!! Go stop dog fighting rings and animal neglect in shelters!! Have some worth!!!


Excellent comment Bette, very well said! [thumbup][thumbup]

There is a lot of horrible animal cruelty going on all across the country. If the true intent of these protesters is to lessen it, there are much more effective, productive ways to spend their time and energy. What they are doing is hurting their cause.


You are correct, Mr.. Natural. If these protesters would go to Netflix and watch the film "Food Inc." they would find some real animal cruelty going on; Con Agra and the other corporate, factory farm organizations are responsible for real cruelty to livestock.




On Nov 3, 2019 @ 4:29pm, in a reply to one of my comments, public-redux wrote:

"No one, to my knowledge, has suggested that the 1A is an impervious shield...The business owner can certainly sue for damages if they want. Free speech doesn’t mean one is exempt from consequences."

My point exactly. It is worth clarifying that while most speech may protected by the First Amendment, the person/people responsible for that speech may still be successfully sued if others suffer damages as a result.


This comment of yours — “but I would argue that they do not have a right to stand in front of the store and harass the owner and customers.”— suggested to me that your point was that people’s free speech rights are more limited than you are now claiming. It suggested to me that you thought government had the power to prevent people from speaking in ways that it didn’t approve of.


public, I am familiar with the First Amendment and understand its purpose.


Good. Your comments suggested otherwise.


These are working horses that are borned and raised to do this type of activity. This is light duty for them compared to working in the fields. I love animals also but as a hunter I found that these ANIMAL ACTIVISTS are nothing but Terrorists period. They are not educated in the subjects there even protesting against. The worst of them all is: PETA = (POOR;Y EDUCATED TERRORISTS of AMERICA)




This is sad. This is what brings historic charm to the historic city. I wish the city would do more to stop the abusive protesters.


I'm surprised that the Lamberts didn't just back out of this months ago rather than push the fight. They knew, or should have known, that these rules had nothing to do with their decision.


shiftless -- which rules? What decision?

Just curious. Maybe I missed something.


Yes, you missed it:


Harassment and threats and disturbing the peace is not a First Amendment Right. The Mayor and BOA need to put there big boy pants on and address the protestors violations. I guarantee if I harassed the Mayor or BOA at an event on the street that they would have the police haul me away.


Exactly. Nail them for violations of law. Don’t violate the law to prevent them from protesting.




The reason they are against it, is because it's decent enjoyment, not standing around with a glass of wine or a beer in their hands. They talk about animal abuse now, what did they call it when the horses were pulling the plows , to plow the fields to grow food? Protester have nothing to do. Think about it. Anything to get in the news.


The First Amendment has, understandably, been mentioned a lot in the comments.

One difference between this situation and a typical protest is that it singles out one individual/family business; during business hours; while they are operating; and subjects their customers to verbal abuse. That's a far cry from the typical march/protest over some religious, political, or hot-button social issue.

In the latter case, there is often no single individual who is the target of the protest. It is planned months ahead of time. The location and duration is established. Permits are obtained. Most importantly, almost anyone who wants to avoid it, can.

Whether legal or not, targeting a specific individual/family/small business for LEGAL behavior is entirely different. It not only adversely affects the family, it hurts the clients as well, and costs the city money.

A common story is the bakery owners who refuse to bake wedding cakes for gay couples. Turn that around -- suppose a religious group were to protest a bakery because they discovered that they DO bake cakes for gay couples -- which is of course perfectly legal. Is their protest legal? Perhaps, but it would also create stress and financial hardship. There might be grounds for a civil suit.


Not a bakery. Just an ice cream shop named Sweet Jesus.


Sweet Jesus?!

That's clearly blasphemy! The store must be shut down immediately!

I call for an all-out boycott and 24/7 demonstration! Praise the Lord!


Yeah, that's a good example of what I'm talking about. Those people have every right to use social media, texts, emails, online petitions -- whatever means are at their disposal to express their displeasure with the name -- but I would argue that they do not have a right to stand in front of the store and harass the owner and customers.

Or, if they do technically have the right to do that, the owner should be able to sue for damages, and anyone else affected negatively should have standing as well. For example, we all have the right to post signs on our property (assuming proper size and setback) expressing whatever we like. However, if that sign causes damage -- say a road is washed out and a landowner posts a sign saying it's open -- then the person who is harmed can sue.

The First Amendment is not a impervious shield against legal action.


No one, to my knowledge, has suggested that the 1A is an impervious shield. The 1A prevents government from inhibiting speech, especially detestable or unpopular speech. So standing on a sidewalk and protesting is legal so long as one isn’t impeding other’s rights to use the sidewalk. (True for streets too. Don’t even need a permit if you aren’t obstructing traffic.)

The business owner can certainly sue for damages if they want. Free speech doesn’t mean one is exempt from consequences.


You are apparently completely unaware of the type of protests that happen at abortion clinics and Planned Parenthoods (regardless of whether that particular PP performs abortions).


I did mention that a while ago but no one else seemed to notice that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Of course, the PETA protesters and the abortion clinic protestors are two peas in a pod.


Some of you have mentioned the Amish using horses. Where I grew up a number or Amish have taken up residense and it has become a problem. It is not that the Amish abuse their horses, it is cars and horses on the same road, in the countryside where cars might be going 50 mph or more and horses doing 5 to 10 mph. And of course in a fog or at night it can be even worse. I don't see these conditions in Frederick City. Someone mentioned the Fair grounds, that could be a good location to have rides,especially if it was decorated and some food shops opened there during the holidays.


My wife and I have experienced what you describe, Dick -- rural roads posted at 40-50+ mph with lots of Amish folks in carriages traveling very slowly. The Amish have gotten better about using reflective "caution" triangles, and many now have some basic lighting, but it is a safety concern.

That said, we're talking about downtown Frederick, where the speed limit is 25 mph, and traffic usually moves slower than that. My suspicion is that many of the people expressing concern about "safety" are more concerned with being slowed down by a carriage.

In reality, the chance of an accident is minimal -- much less than on a dark, hilly, winding 2-lane high highway with no shoulders and a 55 mph speed limit. If a driver hits a carriage in downtown Frederick they should have their license revoked -- because if they can't see a carriage then they definitely cannot see pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycles.


I have been an animal lover my entire life. When I was in junior high and high school, my family owned a dog boarding kennel over in Carroll County. There was enough land that -- in addition to our pets -- we were able to have just about every farm animal you can imagine: ducks; turkey; geese; hogs; cattle; sheep; goats; and horses.

At one time we had 13 Appaloosas. Sometimes we rode them. Call me crazy but they seemed to like it. They stood still while we put on their pad, saddle, and bridle. They didn't run away or try to buck us off.

Maybe next these protesters can go to dog parks and shout obscenities at people throwing balls or Frisbees for their dog to chase.

Herding dogs love to herd animals. Sled dogs love to pull. It is not 'abuse'. They do not have to be forced. It's the same with horses and carriages. As long as the load is reasonable and the horse is not made to exert itself excessively it's fine. As someone pointed out below, the Amish use horses to pull their carriages and plow fields -- perhaps the protesters should spend some time up in PA and over in Ohio -- see how far they get there.

People who actually do abuse animals should be severely punished -- perhaps subjected to whatever they were doing to the animals. They are a close second to people who abuse children.

There is so much *actual* animal abuse going on that these protesters could focus on. Obsessing over some carriage rides using horses that are clearly well cared for is:

* Pointless.

* Ineffective.

* Counterproductive.

* Needlessly antagonizes people.

* Makes intelligent, rational, animal rights activists look bad.

* Gives ammo to people who claim, "All 'libs'/animal rights people/PETA members are out-of-control lunatics.

* Forces the city to spend a huge amount of tax dollars for a baseless "protest".

* All but shuts down a legitimate business.

* Further lowers the quality of life in FredCo.

* Takes away a bit of what makes Frederick special.

This is flat-out wrong on so many levels.


The Lamberts are good people, my sympathy is with them. Protestors are ruining it for all and the Lamberts are right not to provide rides if it is not going to be safe. The Lamberts take good care of their horses and like all beings, exercise is good. Horses are strong, pulling a wagon is not bad for them.


Well, I guess since the animals don’t have a job, maybe the protesters go together and purchase them or some like them as they get sold for meat? I know they all feel great job and others think whatever. It is the case of a few deciding what’s best for the masses.


These protesters should be rounded up and dumped out in the middle of Amish farm country so they can protest to their hearts’ content.


Great idea JW![thumbup]

Comment deleted.

I’m as far left as they come and I still think this protest is stupid. There are so many other hills to die on that are a far worthier cause than terrorizing a family who clearly takes good care of their horses (I believe his daughter is a vet for goodness sake!). Don’t generalize all of us over a couple of jerks who need better hobbies.

Alice Jones

Relatively new here but wow, there's a lot of hate and anger in this city. If a dozen protesters can cause such vitriol among those that disagree, heaven only knows what something really important will do to them. Relax, the owner made a decision, now move on to something a little more worthy.


I guess as a newbie you are unfamiliar with this situation. The Lamberts didn't make a simple business decision as you seem to think it was. They are stopping this traditional carraige ride because of threats of violence and intimidation by the protesters, most of whom were not even from this area. The hate and vitriol was from those protesters.

Alice Jones

So, the hate and and anger displayed in these comments is an illusion? It is evident no side can claim the higher moral ground. A clear cut example of hate begets hate. Wonderful. Just what we need more of.


Hate? Nah. Apparently you have not witnessed these protestors running down the road after the carraige screaming and threatening the riders. Where6the hate here? Asking the mayor and police to stop the protesters from threatening people? No.


Hate for terrorism. Passion for justice.

Alice Jones

Then how would you classify the extreme rhetoric shared by some of the supporters of these carriage rides? Is it love? Understanding? Can’t wait for this explanation.....By the way not advocating for one side or another. The behavior and language from both groups is non-productive and hateful.


Alice, please cite a specific example of "hate" you find below from the Lambert's supporters below. I see disagreement, and demands for the harassment of a legal business and its patrons to stop, including calls for police action. You call that hate? Grow some skin. Again, apparently you have not witnessed the vile and vulgar language these "protestors" hurl at their customers, which included small children out with their parents. I have. They have also chased the carriage down side streets scaring both patrons and animals. I suppose you would call that love, huh?


It is not the fact there are protestors, but they way they have been protesting and probably causing more danger than the mix of horses and cars that has many people rightfully worked up.




I don't really care for carriage rides downtown, but these protesters were cursing and yelling at little kids and there families at night trying to enjoy Frederick and the holidays. Most of the protesters probably don't even live in Frederick. The protesters basically won their battle with terrorism.


Exactly threecents. I guess the lesson here is that if we are obnoxious and loud enough we can get our way.

Alice Jones

Off topic, but the lesson you mention reminds me of how the current president lives his life.


Yes Alice, off topic. Focus.

Alice Jones

If the shoe fits, mr horn.


From the inaugural address of MOC in 2017:

"And so the 62nd Administration of the City of Frederick is underway, and I can tell you from the

formation meetings we have already held, and the collaboration and respect generated over

the last several months of the campaign among the six of us, we are ready…ready to act on

behalf of all residents throughout Frederick…ready to bring more voices into the process…and

ready to work with you and for you to Move Frederick Forward Together!"

"Move Frederick Forward Together," how is that working out? Remember Jim Grimes and his motto, "Unity with Momentum." Movement is wonderful if it is the right direction and you have the foresight to know the CLIFF does not lie ahead.

62nd Administration Grade: D-

You cannot blame this on Mike Spurrier.


I don't appreciate that a dozen protestors tie up just as many policemen to control them. What's next, claiming that asking a dog to heel, sit, stay is demeaning?


As a longtime supporter of the Lamberts, allowing PeTA and their ilk to ron them out of town is a travesty. These animals receive the best of care, and their burden minimal. Shame on the mayor for not doing more, and the FPD for not arresting those protesters that threatened the customers, including children.


I agree 100% gabriel.

I'm reminded of the idiots from the Westboro Baptist Church that use the Constitution as a shield. They stay just this side of the line.

My guess is that the city is afraid of a lawsuit. I fully support every American's right to free speech -- including those I vehemently disagree with -- but the rights of all involved must be respected.

Free speech is subject to reasonable limits. Yes, we all have First Amendment rights, but there are other considerations, like:

* The very real cost to taxpayers of police protection.

* The possibility that a serious crime will be committed elsewhere because so many officers are covering a protest.

* The right of the Lamberts (and everyone else) to operate a legal business without being harassed.

* The right of families to enjoy a carriage ride without their young children being scared and hearing foul language.

* The right of FredCo citizens and visitors to enjoy spending time downtown -- to "peaceably assemble".

C'mon city officials, we can do better than this. If we allow these protesters to walk all over us and "win" it will only encourage similar behavior.

"Don't like that new store in downtown Frederick that caters to [pick a minority group]? No problem! Just hang around outside, make a bunch of noise, and intimidate the owners and customers. It worked for the "animal rights" activists. The city didn't control them so feel free to shut down that store..."

It's similar to the trolls that sometimes shut down entire comment sections here on the FNP website. Their inappropriate posts result in the mods deleting ALL of the posts -- the majority of which are fine, were carefully thought out, and took time to write. Of course that is exactly what the troll(s) wants. They essentially become a moderator. Again, the lesson is, be crude and obnoxious enough and you will get your way. Not a good message to send, or precedent to set.

There must be a solution that would not open the city up to a lawsuit -- like certain politicians' "free speech zones".


“* The right of families to enjoy a carriage ride without their young children being scared and hearing foul language.”

I’m unfamiliar with this “right”. Is it in a constitution?

“* The right of FredCo citizens and visitors to enjoy spending time downtown -- to "peaceably assemble".”

The right to peaceably assemble means government cannot prohibit and/or impede assembly. It has nothing to do with government preventing one group from peaceably assembling so as to enhance the enjoyment of another group. You don’t have a right to have a good time.


But, the "one group" is not peaceably assembling. They are harassing people, and creating a public disturbance. People have a right to not be verbally accosted in public. There are laws against being a public nuisance.




And here is one more reason I left the City of Fredville in the County of Fredgomery after 55 years. Have fun being run by a bunch of little Nancy Pelosis


Adios still.


“And here is one more reason I left ...”

Is the reason that you want the city to restrict speech or is the reason that you want the city to force the Lamberts to offer carriage rides even if they don’t want to?


And we love it here, be careful the door doesn't hit you.


It appears the Mob wins again. We have witnessed this pattern of intimidation & harassment by protesters in the name of free speech slowly grow for decades. Protesters use to march in unison to protest a particular view or policy without abuse, intimidation. The right to free speech and protest is protected under the constitution for all including those with minority views peacefully. Unfortunately, when protesters don’t get their way legally, they resort to abusive, intimidation.....and eventually anarchy.


Just goes to show Mr Lambert cares more about his horses. To bad he had to make the choice to quit the city rather than put up with the uneducated protesters


Congratulations Frederick, you're one step closer to becoming MOCO. You let a small group of idiots ruin something families have been enjoying for years. The mayor is pretty much a joke. If he is so disappointed, then he should do something and actually act the mayor.


The mayor and police chief in this city are worthless. The city can absolutely restrict access. Streets are blocked all the time for events, walks, funerals, etc. This is just one more thing in the mayor's plan for a sanctuary city.


What does this have to do with sanctuary city status? You think horses are immigrants?


I agree about the potential disaster of having cars and horses on the same roadway. Why can't the City close down a 2 by 4 street area for the carriage rides? They have no problem shutting down areas for In The Streets. If the animals were being abused, I am sure the animal rights groups would have arrested Mr. Lambert a long time ago and confiscated his horses. If a "rest" policy has been put in place and the business is complying, why should this business owner not be allowed to continue to offer carriage rides? Are we next going to ban the Amish from using horse and buggies and cowboys from using horses to herd cattle? The world is going nuts!


So, just I'm clear, your suggestion is to shut down a 2x4 street section of downtown each night in order to allow a single business entity to have access? I wonder how you would feel if you happened to live in that 2x4 area of downtown or if you had a business?

Nobody is telling the business owner he can't offer carriage rides. What IS happening is that the police are enforcing the 1st amendment rights of other citizens. The business owner is making his own choice to stop offering them.


Have you seen first hand the behavior and language of the protesters? I have. It's disgusting.


Protesters rights end when they interfere with the rights of others. They should be dispersed when they start harassing people, and cited or arrested if they refuse to behave or leave.

The business owner made his "choice" under duress.


The problem with this standard is that it could be applied to protesters outside abortion clinics shouting things like “Don’t kill your baby.”


Man I wish people would stop trotting out that misleading tripe about where rights begin and end (aka The Kirby Defense). If I'm speaking in a public square, and you don't like it what you hear as you walk by, you and/or the government, have no right to end my speech. Sorry if that's messy, but it's the way we roll here in America.


Chris, Screaming, cursing, and death threats are not protected free speech.


The real problem with this is about who gets to decide what rights interfere with others? It doesn't work that way. There is something else going on here. The owner is concerned that protesters screaming and yelling things from 50' away may cause a safety issue but not a car barreling into the carriage or a backfiring car spooking the horses? This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.


three, Screaming and cursing are protected, although government may have grounds to impose some time and place restrictions. I agree with you on death threats.


Well put gypsyrose! [thumbup]


Pub, Aren't there are state or local laws against harassment that can include screaming and cursing?


three, could be but those would be laws against harassment, not screaming and cursing.


chris, The Lamberts can't just "walk by" and ignore the protesters. The protesters have placed themselves at their business location.


Their “business location” is a public street adjacent to a public sidewalk. Both of which are open to....the public.


public-redux If we are going to play word games, the Lamberts are a form of transportation parked on a public road to load & unload passengers. The protesters are loitering by remaining in one location waiting for the Lamberts to "park". There are laws against loitering. OTOH, if they got a permit to protest, then the city can tell them where and for how long and enforce against misbehavior.


Yes, DK. That is what I am proposing for a once or twice event during the Christmas season. And folks who have businesses and homes in the Historic District are not inconvenienced for In the Streets or Parades or Races? Please@!@!@!


The streets are closed down for events that benefit the entire region financially, not the wants and needs of a single business owner who wants to provide carriage rides. Can you imagine the slippery slope this would become? I'd like to use push carts in the street and charge people $5 a ride. Can you block the entire downtown for me?


Due to harassment....


We are talking weeks and lots of streets.


The city's failure to maintain a safe distance between protesters and horse-drawn vehicles represents a tipping point onto a “slippery slope”that invites these activists to shut down most of the Great Frederick Fair. If a walk-in-the-park carriage ride constitutes animal abuse and “slavery” - where does that put pulling contests, racing, breeding, and showing events? - the future of Frederick County agriculture? Is the City willing to bow to a few shrill opinions and eliminate these too?




The city does not put on the fair.


@dk1977, the fairgrounds and the roads providing access to them are within the city limits - giving the mayor and city police a say in what happens or doesn't happen there. (map:


You're absolutely right. Which is why the Great Frederick Fair exists. It is a private entity putting on an event. This allows them to make the rules for their event. It's dramatically different.


@dk again, no argument with the Fair being an event but I think you've missed the point. The activities and exhibits that feature live animals are regulated by the State, which neither the city of Frederick nor the Frederick County Ag Society control. The Ag Society owns the fairgrounds property, but they are subject to city rules and regulations just like any other property owner whose land lies within the city boundaries. Back to the city police and mayor having a say in maintaining a safe distance between protestors and a contracted service provider (presently the Lamberts) for a city business organization-sponsored group of holiday events. The Lamberts do not offer horse drawn carriage rides in the historic district all year long.


@dk oops, meant "changing the subject" not "missed the point" - more accurate I think. The Fair activities that feature animals were mentioned in context of animal rights protesters from out of the area coming in and making themselves enough of an obnoxious presence to influence local events that have been enjoyed by Frederick residents for decades, not to mention spending money here.


During the hearings, the protesters vowed to end rides completely, so they intend to continue to harrass and bully the Lambert's and those enjoying an amazing holiday tradition until they get their way.


Dang, Blaine is probably loving this.


And that is the problem. At what point does protesting become harrassment


Good points oldmagpie! [thumbup]

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