From Gothamist: “Last night, a carriage horse collapsed—apparently after being spooked by a bus—and now opponents of carriages horses are holding a protest at the scene today at 1 p.m.
According to NYCLASS and PETA, the incident occurred on Central Park South, just west of Fifth Avenue, across from the Plaza Hotel. A tourist sent a photograph and this description to PETA:
“I was in town visiting from Oklahoma when I witnessed one of the worst animal cruelty incidents I have seen in a long time. A bus drove very close to a horse and spooked it (rightfully so, I was also scared of how close the busses were to us). The horse bucked and started to run when its carriage went of the curb and pinned the animal to the ground…
The men (if that’s what we want to call them) proceeded to hold the horse down and save their carriage (yes carriage, not horse) from further damage. One man suggested cutting the carriage and the other said no because it would come out of his pocket (he clearly had one concern, of which the horse was not). To top off the whole event, the men proceed to strap the horse back into harnesses and continue to work even though he was clearly limping and hurt!!!”
The witness also says there’s video, which NYCLASS and PETA are working on getting.
The horse apparently ended up pinned under the carriage and also defecated on himself while still on the ground. Donny Moss, who has been critical of the use of carriage horses and directed Blinders, a documentary about the industry, told us, “Six carriage horses have spooked and crashed in urban areas in the past 10 days. In New York City, the open carriages are driving in the streets with motor vehicles, but the passengers are not wearing helmets or seatbelts. If tourists had been in the carriage when it flipped over last night, they could have been seriously injured. No amount of regulation can prevent a horse from spooking. This is just one of the many reasons why horse-drawn carriages cannot be operated safely or humanely in New York City. We are grateful that Mayor de Blasio understands this and is taking the carriage horses off the streets for good.”
Moss added, “By continuing to support a ban on horse-drawn carriages in midtown, a move for which he will be criticized, the Mayor is putting principle ahead of political expedience. That is the sign of a true public servant and leader, and he will be remembered for it.” De Blasio says he’s committed to ending carriage horses, but isn’t rushing to do so.”