Draft horse, ‘Gus’ a huge draw: Downtown Anderson carriage tours start up

Mike Erwin |
Journal-Capital
A vintage carriage pulled by Gus, a Percheron draft horse, arrived in town Thursday. Operated by John and Eileen Howell of the Meeker’s Flying J Ranch, the service is offering $25 rides around the downtown.

Mike Erwin/Journal-Capital

The new downtown attraction was impossible to ignore.

A 2,000-pound Percheron draft horse began pulling a vintage 1913 Anderson carriage along Kihekah Avenue on Thursday.

Brought to town by John and Eileen Howell of the Flying J Ranch in Meeker, the rig added another nostalgic element to downtown’s growing allure by giving quick, but classy, 10-block tours for $25.

Howell said they previously had been offering their services in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown area.

“They’ve started working on some kind of trolley system there, so we decided to try our luck here,” said Howell.

The couple operates a rodeo company and carriage service, as well.

“We’ve also got a stage coach we pull, and a limousine,” he added.

The livery company’s 10-year-old black horse, Gus, measures a noteworthy 18 1/2 hands in height.

“He has a wonderful temperment,” Howell said. “Gus is definitely the star of our show.”