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Archive for Tuesday, October 17, 1995

MCLOUTH MAN EAGER TO SADDLE UP IN LAWRENCE

October 17, 1995

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A McLouth resident is ready to hitch onto Lawrence's horse-drawn carriage business.

Rob Phillips and Dave Harwood agree: Lawrence is big enough for the two of them.

Harwood, a horse-enthusiast from McLouth, wants to run carriage rides in downtown Lawrence next month and during the Christmas season.

And just because Phillips already operates two carriages, a streetcar and a trolley doesn't mean Harwood can't saddle up to the holiday trough.

"I don't want this to come off the wrong way, but there's enough room in Lawrence for two carriage companies," said Harwood, who owns Rockin D Bar T Inc. "It's fair competition. My dream's always been doing something like this. Everyone's got a dream, but sometimes they just go in different directions."

Lawrence's only current carriage business -- the Kansas Carriage Co. -- brings horse-drawn vehicles to downtown, surrounding neighborhoods and other locales.

Harwood used to work for the company, and even helped build its "Sunflower" streetcar. But he left in June and has turned his sights on the streets of Lawrence for bridling his own gelding Belgians, Dan and Pat.

"There's a lot of room here in Lawrence," said Phillips, co-owner of Kansas Carriage and general manager of the Eldridge Hotel. "The more the merrier. A lot of people come to Lawrence to ride the streetcar. It's a draw."

Before Harwood can bring his horses to town -- they're kept in Jefferson County -- he first must obtain permission from Lawrence city commissioners, who will consider his application for a horse-drawn vehicle license tonight.

The meeting begins at 6:35 p.m. at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts.

Specifically, Harwood has paid $50 to run his horses in town on weekends, between Oct. 27 and Dec. 31. His application indicates operating hours of 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and ride fees of $6 per person or $10 per couple.

Harwood said he'd met all the requirements needed to obtain a license, including the proper training in horse-handling techniques. He will not buy insurance until the license is approved.

Harwood plans to start his business by offering hayrack rides to area organizations, such as youth and senior-citizen groups. He hopes to have carriages in place by mid-November.

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