King' Carriages a Fixture in Uptown
November 10, 2009
By ST CLAIRE DONAGHY
Index-Journal Staff Writer
Greenwood, SC - Harvey King, 59, said he has been “around horses” for as long as he can remember and was previously on the rodeo circuit as a bull rider. However, King said he can’t “sit on a horse for as long” as he used to be able to.
That prompted King, who lives in Honea Path, to begin looking into carriages and driving horses.
|For 10 years now, King has been in the horse-drawn carriage business. In October, King began offering regular weekend carriage rides around Uptown Greenwood through his Horse-Drawn Carriage Co.
Rides are available Friday and Saturday evenings from 6 to 11 p.m., departing and concluding near the war monument in front of the Textile Building on Main Street. The cost of a carriage ride is typically $10 per adult and $5 per child.
Harvey King, left, Stan the horse and Scott “Toby” Malnory began horse-drawn carriage rides Oct. 10 in Uptown Greenwood. (Staff photo by St. Claire Donaghy)
However, during Uptown’s Holiday Open House, Saturday and Sunday, rides are free, courtesty of Uptown Greenwood Development Corp.
King and business partner Scott “Toby” Malnory don top hats and hitch one of three impressively elegant draft horses to a carriage and take passengers on a mile or so route.
King has become acquainted with Greenwood during the past four to five years, while offering Uptown carriage rides as part of the Uptown Holiday Open House in November. This year, King said free rides will be available between 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday and from 1:30-5 p.m. Sunday.
In addition to Greenwood, King said his Horse-Drawn Carriage Co. does business in downtown Greenville and he offers carriage rentals for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, fundraisers and even funerals.
King is readying a horse-drawn “sleigh on wheels” for holiday rides and has a white carriage and a white and blue caisson that is used for funerals. A caisson is a horse-drawn, two-wheeled carriage, formerly used to carry ammunition but currently used to carry coffins at military funerals.
“For military personnel who are killed in action, we offer our services for free,” King said. “Having the caisson is just one way to give back and honor our veterans.”
Some might associate carriage rides with larger cities, such as Charleston, but King said he has witnessed the revitalization efforts in Uptown Greenwood during the past few years and said he likes what he sees here.
“We’re not trying to hold Greenwood back,” King said. “We’re willing to help it grow.”
During his first few weekends in business in Greenwood, some 15 to 20 customers took carriage rides, King said.
“That was pretty good,” King said. “There’s not a lot of foot traffic in Uptown right now, but we’re hoping to attract more people and change that.”
King has known his driving partner, Toby Malnory, for about two years. Malnory, 53, hails from Wisconsin and made King’s acquaintance while looking for a “buggy to hook behind his horse.”
“We drummed up a friendship and a partnership,” Malnory said. “ Harvey is a kindred spirit. Doing this has been something of a dream of mine. I’ve been driving horses for 11 or 12 years.
“It’s so nice to see smiles on kids faces when we take them for a carriage ride, or couples cuddling in the back. We’re bringing ambiance and it’s a good complement to Uptown Greenwood.”
Horses and carriages are something of a lost art, Harvey King said, noting he’s been happy to share what he knows with Malnory. King even does wagon and harness repair.
“What we do is more than simply providing a carriage ride,” King said. “We provide an experience. It’s a step back in time to an era of grace and good manners, but we also like to cut up and have a good time.
“We do what we do because we love seeing faces light up at the sight of our horses,” King said.