Horse and Carriage Flip Over Near Central Park

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.”

Electric Cars Introduced As Humane Alternative To New York City’s Carriage Horse Industry

BN-CK727_Carria_G_20140417155534New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made banning the horse-and-carriage rides in Central Park an issue in his election campaign, and said last week that he hopes to get them off the street by the end of the year. “Why continue to subject horses to a risky nose-to-tailpipe existence,” a spokeswoman for animal rights group NYCLASS said back in March, ”when there’s a gorgeous, cruelty-free alternative, the electric antique replica horseless carriage?”

Today NYCLASS unveiled a prototype of the proposed carriage: The elegant vintage electric car was designed for NYCLASS by The Creative Workshop (TCW), a car restoration business based in Florida. “We’re confident the vehicle we’ve created is a worthy successor to the original brass-era horseless carriage that roamed the canyons of New York City back in the day,” said TCW’s owner Jason Wenig in a statement. “The Horseless eCarriage celebrates the style and personality of that era.” According to the specs, the carriage can hold 8 passengers, hit a top speed of 30 mph and travel 100 miles on a battery, which takes about six hours to charge.  Although no one has answered the question of how they will replicate the iconic aroma of horse manure on a hot August day.

Carriage Horse Abuse

Winter weather got you down?  Imagine having to walk around in it all day behind a bus.  Glee actor and PETA supporter Lea Michele is once again showing that she’s got a heart to match her voice by calling for an end to the dangerous horse-drawn carriage industry in new video and print PSAs for PETA. Horses who are forced to pull carriages endure long workdays while exposed to extreme temperatures and dangerous traffic and are often denied adequate rest, water, and food.

Liam Neeson's New Digs

Liam Neeson declared on Jon Stewart’s show last week that he would be happy to move into one of the luxurious carriage horse stables in Hell’s Kitchen. Here’s a few photos of where he’d be moving to.

Pretty swank. As a supporter I’m sure Mr Neeson will be happy to have his picture taken at one of these lovely spots.


Really – who wouldn’t want to live here?

Liam Neeson Defends Horse-Drawn Carriage Industry

Talk about disappointments – Liam Neeson, who has been a supporter of a great many humane efforts throughout the world, released a statement this week through the Irish Echo supporting the carriage horse industry. Referring to it as “iconic” and a “grand tradition” he also claimed he was another horse lover. Right. Well Mr. Neeson, as much as my respect for you as an actor remains unchanged, I do have to question whether you actually took the time to find out the facts before you made this statement, appealing to misguided sentiments; trying to pretend it’s 1889 instead of 2009. I believe that all of those people should have jobs as well, and since my grandmother and grandfather regaled me with tales of growing up in Kerry I would like to think I am sensitive to the fact that many of the drivers are Irish-American.
But, I wonder Mr. Neeson – is this the picture you were thinking of that is so iconic? Or do you imagine the horses trudging back to their tenements in Hell’s Kitchen as being part of the grand tradition? Have you taken the time to visit their stables? Or would availing yourself of the uncomfortable facts make you an “extrmemist”? How about a short quiz? How many horses have perished in traffic accidents in the last 20 years? How many is too many? How much shorter is a carriage horse’s life than a police mount?

How many hours a week do they work? Or – maybe you saw them out working the past few weeks in snow storms and sub-zero wind chills – does the sight of a horse trudging behind a bus, inhaling the exhaust make you wax poetic? Did you know that New York has the highest carriage-horse accident rate in the country, a fact that came to light after the death of Smoothie on Sept. 14, 2007?

I did not grow up with horses, I grew in the suburbs, so it was my grandmother’s stories of growing up on a farm in Ireland that informed my conscience towards animals. There is nothing about the existence of these animals that is, in fact, picturesque or traditional. They have no pastures to walk in, no life besides the joyless sounds of traffic, the blare of horns, the constant cacophony of New York streets. Lawn jockeys were once iconic, slavery once considered a vital component of the country’s economy. In fact, according to my grandmother, Irish immigrants were once treated with a little bit less than respect in this city. But I guess, at that time, it was just considered another grand tradition, eh Mr. Neeson?