Chattanooga’s Most Famous Horse Junebug, Has Died
Our thoughts and prayers are with our Tennessee friends.
There is sad news out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Beloved carriage horse, Junebug has gone to that big barn in the sky. The honey-colored Belgian horse passed away at age 32 after complications from a stroke, the Times Free Press reported.
For 14 years Junebug dazzled visitors to the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Junebug took tourists on tours through downtown in her carriage with her best friend, Nate the Dalmatian mix along for the ride on the drivers box with either Beverly or Corey Neal.
Mark Neal, owner of Chattanooga Horse Trams, spoke to the Times Free Press and said that Junebug “loved every minute”
"She was really laid back, really enjoyed her job, really loved the people, and she really loved Nate, her dog," Neal said.
Junebug was enjoyed celebrity status in her town. Beverly Neal, one of Junebug’s drivers recalled to the Times Free Press that, "People would stand on the sidewalk and yell, 'Hey, Junebug!'"
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Junebug grew up in Dahlonega, Georgia as a workhorse plowing fields on a farm. When Mark bought her for his business, he said it was clear she had had some rough experiences and he and driver Corey Neal had to help her trust people again. She took to the carriage life, truly embracing her star status. And a few years ago when she was retired to a farm in Apison, Mark could tell Junebug missed working. “"June would rather work than stay home. When I hauled the other horses down she would always be waiting at the gate. She wanted to go, but it was time for her to take some time off," he said.
But Junebug was keen to work again and when she died she was in her third career. She was helping to teach children with disabilities to ride.
Junebug will be greatly missed!