From celebrations like Fourth of July and pride parades, to events that honor our military and veterans, Wells Fargo’s Stagecoach Experiences Program participates in over 600 community events annually and is a widely recognizable and popular expression of the Wells Fargo brand. The program began in 1958 and enables Wells Fargo team members to interact with communities in a way that brings to life the company’s rich history.
As part of the program, Wells Fargo independently contracts with stagecoach drivers across the nation who own and transport their horses to events where these horses can be seen pulling the Wells Fargo stagecoaches. Nearly two-thirds of our program events include horse-drawn stagecoaches, while the others display the carriage only.
While the program seldom receives complaints, the company did receive feedback about the treatment of one of the horses that participated in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, on New Year’s Day. A veterinarian was dispatched immediately to examine the horse, and the veterinarian found the horse to be in good condition. However, out of an abundance of caution, Wells Fargo decided to put the program on hold for 90 days to take a deeper look at its operations.
“The safety of the horses and the public is and always has been our highest priority. We take all feedback very seriously,” said Wells Fargo Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Moldafsky. “We will make certain that we are following all industry standards — and going above and beyond where possible — to ensure that our procedures clearly detail our expectations of the stagecoach drivers, including how they care for their horses. Anything less is unacceptable.”
“The safety of the horses and the public is and always has been our highest priority. We take all feedback very seriously.”
— Jamie Moldafsky
The 90-day pause is expected to run through April and affects Wells Fargo stagecoach appearances involving horses; events involving display stagecoaches will continue.
During this time, a team of experts, including a former instructor at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine — as well as ranchers, veterinarians, and other equestrian leaders, will independently review the program.
This operations review will cover all aspects of Stagecoach Experiences — including expectations of the independently contracted drivers, their care of their horses, and other safety and operational procedures.
With an average of 19 years of experience, drivers for the Wells Fargo Stagecoach Experiences Program must follow high industry standards for the care and maintenance of their horses, including all federal, state, and local laws concerning their care. That includes regularly scheduled veterinary exams, immunizations, and care by farriers who shoe and take care of horses’ hooves.
The drivers are obligated by their contracts to follow Wells Fargo’s Standard Operating Procedures for Stagecoach Experiences Program events, which emphasize the safety of the vehicles, the public, contractors, subcontractors, and horses before, during, and after a stagecoach appearance.
Wells Fargo regularly monitors contractor compliance with its requirements that any horses chosen by a contractor to participate in a Wells Fargo event be well-trained and groomed, healthy, and kept in clean, well-maintained, and proper accommodations.
“We are fully committed to the Stagecoach Experiences Program and look forward to bringing it back to our communities in the very near future,” said Moldafsky.