Sunday, February 28, 2016


This was a tragic accident that occurred on January 2, 2006.  Spotty, a 5-year old gelding was heading back to West Side Livery stable when he spooked at something.  Terrified, he bolted into traffic, crashing into a station wagon and wrapping himself over the top.  His leg was broken and he lost his life that fateful night.  The industry should have been shut down  - but it wasn't.  This horrific accident was the impetus for us to begin a campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC.  That was 10 years ago and we have not wavered

FACT:  There is no requirement in the law for carriage horse drivers to report carriage accidents.  If a driver can get away with it, he will not report the accident.  Likewise, if the NYPD is involved, it is up to them whether or not they file a report.  Considering these obstacles, it is surprising the list below is so extensive. 

HORSE ARE PRODUCTS:  In this city, horses are considered PRODUCT to be discarded when they are no longer useful.  We have a City Council made up of members who mostly do not care about the suffering of animals or of human safety  and we have a Mayor who has an unreasonable and strange allegiance to the unions and never took the time to know and understand this issue and to fight for what was right. 

WORST OFFENDER:  The NY Daily News has been the worst offender in spreading lies about this issue, but other media outlets went along.  On August 16, 2012, in an article entitled "Carriage Horse Breaks Free Near Central Park," NBC  quoted carriage driver, Christina Hansen, "we've really had only a handful of accidents."    This is a lie as evidenced by the list below, which is a lot more than a "handful."  The trade also likes to claim that "only 3 horses have died in traffic accidents in 30 years."  This is deceitful and a lie of omission   because it does not include all the many horses who have died from  dropping dead on the street like Charlie; spooking and running into a tree like Smoothie; or Clancy who died in the stable from unknown causes.  We can account for 23 carriage horse deaths in 33 years - and those are just the ones we know. 
ACCIDENTS:  Of the 98 documented accidents, 50 have occurred since 2009.  There has no doubt been many more accidents but these are the ones that have been documented.  It is very difficult to document horse-drawn carriage accidents, because there is no requirement to report them, and there have been many hit-and-runs by carriages drivers.  Increased awareness of animal welfare and the ubiquity of recording devices have enabled us to know of more accidents than hitherto--but it is reasonable to suppose that many remain unknown.  

The Daily News reported in 2006 (before their anti-deBlasio campaign) that according to "City records," carriage drivers' inexperience with horses, incompetence, and negligence were the leading causes of carriage accidents.   Because all horses have evolved to spook, all horses may spook, however trained.  But an experienced, competent, and conscientious horse handler has a much better chance of forestalling a spook, bringing the horse out of a spook, or minimizing its consequences.  New York City has the highest horse-drawn carriage accident rate in the country.

In the list below, accidents in "Central Park & Environs" are in bold face.  Accidents in the "Stables and Elsewhere" are in plain type.  And accidents "Location Unknown" are in italics.  We have only posted two pictures - that of Spotty who was killed on January 2, 2006 on the streets of NYC.  Please look at our web page for more information
(50 in Central Park & Environs; 39 in the Stables & Elsewhere;
9 Location Unknown: 98 Total)
Followed by a Summary of the 23 Work-Related Horse Deaths.
(Note:  {0}, is the original item number for each accident in the document, "Necessity To Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages In New York City," where the sources, documentation, and full details for each accident can be found (including news reports, police reports, eyewitness accounts, photos, videos, etc.), on pages 490 - 655.  THIS WILL EVENTUALLY BE RELEASED.

Many thanks to the person who compiled this list)

1) January 19, 2016.  Spartacus spooked during a carriage industry rally at a Midtown stable, sending bystanders running for cover.  {1a}  (Stables & Elsewhere)  See Spartacus's previous spooking accident, April 23, 2014.
2) October 27, 2015.  19-year old carriage horse Stella's carriage, pulling passengers, collided with a taxi at 62nd St. & Broadway.  {2a} (Central Park & Environs)
3) August 13, 2015.  A teen on her bicycle and a horse-drawn carriage collided in Central Park.  The 15 year-old tourist, visiting the park for her birthday with her mother, was treated for minor injuries.  {3a}  (Central Park & Environs)
4) April 15, 2015.  Older veteran carriage horse Fury spooked, broke free, escaped from Chateau Stables, and galloped down West 48th Street without a driver.  Chateau Stables, 608 W. 48th St. between 11th & 12th Aves. {43} (Stables & Elsewhere)
5) February 13, 2015.  TICKLES DIES.  18-year-old Tickles was discovered in his stall at Clinton Park Stables with a fractured leg, cause unknown, and was euthanized in his stall.  No investigation was held. Clinton Park Stables, 618 W. 52nd Street, between 11th & 12th Aves.  {44} (Stables & Elsewhere)
6) October 19, 2014.  Carriage horse Barney broke free and escaped, running for blocks against traffic in Hell's Kitchen, pursued by police cars.  Hell's Kitchen.  {45} (Stables & Elsewhere)
7) June 10, 2014.  Pumpkin spooked at the 59th St. hack line, ran wildly through Central Park and several streets, pulling his empty carriage before heading back to Central Park South and smashing into an open taxicab door.  Pumpkin was retired to farm work.  Central Park.  {1} (Central Park & Environs)
8) April 23, 2014.  Spartacus was spooked by a bus and fell, pinned to the ground by his overturned carriage.  When raised up, Spartacus was limping.  Central Park South, just west of 5th Avenue, across from the Plaza Hotel.  {2} (Central Park & Environs) (Spartacus spooked again, January 19, 2016, sending bystanders running for cover.)
9) December 20, 2013.  Carriage driver Saverio Colarusso arrested for animal cruelty for forcing carriage horse Blondie to work for four days while visibly injured, in pain, and struggling to pull the carriage.  Colarusso had been previously charged with drinking on duty, driving at unauthorized times, and other violations.  Central Park.  {3} (Central Park & Environs)
10) September 26, 2013.  Carriage horse Chris spooked at Columbus Circle; his carriage swung, smashed into a car, and overturned onto the horse, trapping Chris under the damaged carriage.  The carriage driver Frank Luo had been charged the previous day for violations of regulations.  Columbus Circle.  {4} (Central Park & Environs)

11) September 14, 2013.  A cab rear-ended a horse-drawn carriage when it stopped suddenly.  W. 48th St. & 10th Ave.  {85} (Stables & Elsewhere)
12) August 15, 2013.  A horse-drawn carriage hit a parked car damaging the car, and left the scene without reporting it.  210 Central Park South.  {86} (Central Park & Environs)
13) June 14, 2013.  A horse-drawn carriage hit and damaged a bike, and fled.  W. 72nd St. & Central Park West.  {87} (Central Park & Environs)

14) June 5, 2013.  A horse spooked and bolted into traffic after one of the carriage shafts broke.  He tried to free himself and his leg was cut badly.  40th St. & 11th Ave.  {46} (Stables & Elsewhere)
15) March 23, 2013.  A horse pulling a carriage from Central Park spooked and reared up coming out of the park road.  Central Park. {5} (Central Park & Environs)
16) February 7, 2013.  A horse and carriage struck a woman's vehicle and left the scene.  210 Central Park South, 7th Avenue--Broadway.  {79} (Central Park & Environs)
17) January 4, 2013.  An exhausted-looking horse pulling carriage #1075, in the cold at the end of the busy holiday season, collapsed coming out of the park, after the driver dropped off his passengers, near 5th Avenue onto 59th St. {6} (Central Park & Environs)

18) December 8, 2012.  A horse pulling carriage #1066 with six people got stuck between cars on 6th Avenue at 51st/52nd Street. The horse spooked, bolted, and ran two blocks.  The driver jumped off.  Passengers screamed for help, and a running bystander was able to pull a young boy from the carriage.  The horse tried to run over some cars, but stopped when he couldn't get beyond cars stopped for a light.  6th Ave. at 51st/52nd.  {47} (Stables & Elsewhere)
19) December 3, 2012.  A white Audi car was struck by a horse-drawn carriage that left the scene.  NE corner 8th Ave. & W. 56th St.  {80} (Stables & Elsewhere)
20) November 12, 2012.  7-year-old carriage horse Henry, carrying a driver and three passengers, stumbled and fell near Tavern on the Green in Central Park, hurting his leg.  In Central Park at W. 67th St.  {7} (Central Park & Environs)
21) November 10, 2012.  As a passenger was exiting a taxi by the rear door, a horse-drawn carriage struck the door, causing damage to the vehicle.  The carriage driver fled the scene (hit and run).  NE corner of 5th Ave. & and E. 47th St.  {81}  (Stables & Elsewhere)
22) October 2, 2012.  A carriage horse spooked and bolted on 11th Avenue in the West 40's.  {48} (Stables & Elsewhere)
23) September 20, 2012.  A horse spooked on 11th Avenue and 49th Street, slightly injuring himself.  The carriage was damaged.  11th Ave. & 49th St.  {49} (Stables & Elsewhere)
24) August 16, 2012.  Oreo spooked and bolted with passengers, four injured.  With the park and Columbus Circle jammed with people, Oreo spooked due to noise on the hack line at Central Park South, throwing his driver, who landed in the street, his leg bleeding. Oreo bolted with passengers in the carriage, charging in terror, colliding with a double-parked BMW at 60th and Broadway, where his two passengers were thrown from the carriage and injured, and then hitting another car and shedding the remains of the wrecked carriage, he ran free to 57th St. and 9th Avenue, where Oreo collapsed, tranquilized by police.  In addition to the driver (hospitalized at Bellevue with 26 stitches) and two passengers (taken to hospital, one in a neck brace, strapped to a board), a police officer pursuing Oreo was also hurt and treated at Roosevelt Hospital.  Oreo was pulled from the industry and adopted by a member of the public.  Spooked from Central Park to Columbus Circle to 57th St. & 9th Ave.  {8} and {8b} and p. 650. (Central Park & Environs)
25) June 19, 2012.  A horse-drawn carriage hit a car and broke the back window.  The carriage fled the scene.  SW corner Broadway & Columbus Circle.  {88} (Central Park & Environs)

26) June 15, 2012.  An accident involving a motor vehicle and a horse-drawn carriage took place.  The carriage driver refused information and fled the scene.  NW corner 7th Ave. & W. 55th Street.  {89} (Stables & Elsewhere)
27) June 7, 2012.  12-year-old mare Doreen sustained a bleeding gash to her face when an SUV hit her carriage and a motorcycle, and she was smacked by the SUV, her head cracking the windshield.  The police reported a 24 year old man "fell off a horse, bleeding from the knee." Columbus Circle.  {9} and p. 650. (Central Park & Environs)
28) March 3, 2012.  A horse, returning to the stable, spooked on 11th Avenue and 52nd Street, and bolted into congested traffic, dragging his empty, overturned carriage into the street in tow.  The horse finally fell to the ground outside The Daily Show studio on 11th Avenue, south of 52nd Street.  The horse appeared to be shaking and frightened.  11th Ave. & 52nd St.  {50} (Stables & Elsewhere)
29) February 14, 2012.  A carriage horse injured his leg on Valentine's Day, one of the times when carriage horses are worked the hardest.  Central Park.  {10} (Central Park & Environs)
30) December 4, 2011.  Flash, pulling a carriage with three adults and a child, collapsed on the street at the start of the holiday season.  Grand Army Plaza at 59th St. & 5th Ave.  {11} (Central Park & Environs)
31) November 4, 2011.  Carriage horse Luke fell to the ground while pulling a carriage during rush hour.  60th St. & Broadway.  {12} (Central Park & Environs)
32) October 28, 2011.  A horse unattended on the hack line on Central Park South near Columbus Circle spooked and bolted at top speed into traffic, made a U-turn, ran back into the park at 7th Avenue, skid, hit the curb, flipped with the carriage, falling to his side, got up, ran into the park again, crashed again into the curb, and stood, still tangled and trapped in the harness of his overturned, wrecked empty carriage at West & Center Drive.
 The horse is no longer in the industry.  Central Park.  {13} (Central Park & Environs)
33) October 23, 2011.  CHARLIE DIES.  Magnificent Percheron Charlie collapsed and died in the street en route to work, on West 54th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues.  Charlie was found to be suffering from a gastric ulcer.  Lack of turn out to pasture and lack of forage, and the natural and full life that goes with it, combined with stress, can quickly bring on gastric ulcers in horses.  W. 54th between 8th & 9th Aves.  {51} (Stables & Elsewhere)
34) October 4, 2011.  A horse-drawn carriage struck a moving vehicle causing damage, and fled the scene.  NW corner 8th Ave. & W. 58th St.  {90} (Stables & Elsewhere)
35) End of July, 2011.  A horse spooked and fell while pulling tourists in Central Park.  Frightened, the passengers jumped out of the carriage. The driver made the horse go back to work.  Central Park.  {14} (Central Park & Environs)
36) July 25, 2011.  A taxi rear-ended a horse-drawn carriage on Central Park South, throwing a woman passenger onto the sidewalk bleeding, and the carriage knocked the horse to the street, overturning on top of the horse, who later managed to get back on his feet, with bleeding cuts.  The three passengers and the driver were injured, the driver in critical condition with a bleeding head injury.  Central Park South.  {15} (Central Park & Environs)
37) July 16, 2011.  A carriage horse spooked and bolted, galloping out of control from Grand Army Plaza & 5th Avenue up Central Park South to 7th Avenue, hitting a taxi and a car on the way. Grand Army Plaza to Central Park South & 7th Ave.  {16} (Central Park & Environs)

38) June 16, 2011.  A horse-drawn carriage struck a truck, causing damage to the side of the truck, and fled the scene.  SE corner 11th Ave. & W. 56th St.  {91} (Stables & Elsewhere)
39) May 12, 2011.  A horse-drawn carriage struck a delivery man riding his bike, causing the man to fall off the bike, hurting his ankle and breaking the bike.  NE corner W. 54th St. & 11th Ave.  {82}  (Stables & Elsewhere)
40) November 3, 2010.  A bus grazed a carriage horse on 7th Avenue near 54th Street at 5:30 p.m., rush hour, when carriages are prohibited in the area.  A witness stated the horse "was spooked and evidently frightened out of his or her wits."  7th Ave. near 54th St.  {52} (Stables & Elsewhere)
41) May 11, 2010.  A carriage horse collided with a taxi in Central Park.  {17} (Central Park & Environs)
42) May 1, 2010.  A horse pulling a carriage spooked and ran into oncoming traffic, sideswiping cars, at Central Park South and Columbus Circle.  {18} (Central Park & Environs)
43) April 15, 2010.  A horse-drawn carriage sideswiped a moving car and left the scene. NW corner Broadway & Central Park South.  {92} (Central Park & Environs)

44) April 1, 2010.  A man was unloading packages from his parked vehicle, when a horse-drawn carriage struck the vehicle, causing damage, and left the scene.  Ninth Ave. & W. 58th St.  {93} (Stables & Elsewhere)
45) March 30, 2010.  A horse-drawn carriage hit the right side of a moving car causing damage to side mirror, and left the scene. NE corner 8th Ave. & W. 53rd St.  {94} (Stables & Elsewhere)
46) January 5, 2010.  A horse-carriage collided with a vehicle, throwing the carriage driver who lay unmoving on the ground, with EMS en route.  The spooked and panicked carriage horse broke free, ran toward 59th Street, colliding with at least two parked cabs, kicking, and possibly injuring or even breaking a leg.  W. 60th St. & Columbus Avenue.  {83}  (Central Park & Environs)
47) November 23, 2009.  A 6-year-old child fell out of a horse-drawn carriage in which his family was riding, and was run over by the wheel, resulting in stomach, chest, and head injuries; the child was rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital.  63rd St. & Center Drive.  {84} (Central Park & Environs)
48) October 21, 2009.  A horse-drawn carriage hit a moving car and fled the scene.  SW corner Avenue of the Americas & Central Park South.  {95} (Central Park & Environs)
49) September 19, 2009.  A taxi turning into Grand Army Plaza plowed into a parked carriage, which had just dropped off passengers, at 60th Street and 5th Avenue, knocking it over and smashing it, and then crashed into the stone wall surrounding the park.  Blackie the horse, free of the totaled carriage, bolted for a couple of blocks.  The carriage driver appeared "seriously injured," and both drivers were hospitalized.  60th St. & 5th Ave. at Grand Army Plaza, Central Park. {19} (Central Park & Environs)

50) September, 2009.  HORSE DIES.  A carriage horse caught his foot on a parking meter and had to be euthanized.  (Source: Then New York Governor David Paterson, December 15, 2009)  {53} (Stables & Elsewhere)
51) February 7, 2008.  CLANCY DIES.  Clancy, an eight-year-old Percheron, was found dead at the Clinton Park stables at 618 W. 52nd Street.  Clancy reportedly had not worked since February 2 and was being treated by a licensed veterinarian.  When the ASPCA (then responsible for monitoring carriage horse welfare) requested Clancy's veterinary records, to determine whether neglect or abuse were a factor, for the first time the Department of Health refused them, and told them to FOIL the records. (Freedom of Information Law.)  As Clancy was a young horse, it is speculated that his cause of death may have been colic caused by poor diet and overwork; but Clancy's cause of death remains unknown.  Stables, 11th Ave. near 52nd St.  {54} (Stables & Elsewhere)
52) September 14, 2007.  SMOOTHIE DIES.  12-year-old mare Smoothie was spooked on the hack line when a performer from a break-dance troupe walked by the horses beating a small drum.  Smoothie reared up, ran onto the sidewalk and between two trees about 2 feet apart--she could pass, but her carriage couldn't, and as she tried to lunge forward in panic, she collapsed and died on the sidewalk.  Her panic caused a second horse, also attached to a carriage, to dart into traffic and leap on the hood of a Mercedes-Benz with passengers inside.  50 Central Park South between 5th & 6th Aves.  {20} (Central Park & Environs)
53) July 4, 2007.  12-year-old carriage horse Bud spooked on Central Park South and collided with a taxi, suffering several gashes on his rear legs.  The taxi driver was treated for injuries at New York Hospital, and his cab suffered significant damage.  A motorcyclist's bike was hit with the carriage and trampled, as the biker tried to leap out of the way.  Central Park South.  {21} (Central Park & Environs)

54) June 2, 2007.  A spooked young horse harnessed to a carriage, with the driver running behind, galloped into traffic, and was hit by an SUV at 54th Street and 7th Avenue, knocking loose the carriage onto the sidewalk, barely missing pedestrians. The horse fell to the pavement, but later rose, dazed and limping.  54th St. & 7th Ave.  {55} (Stables & Elsewhere)
55) April 13, 2007.  A taxi crashed into a carriage while the horse was working.  The horse was walked back to the stable. Central Park South at Grand Army Plaza.  {22} (Central Park & Environs)
56) September 15, 2006.  JULIET DIES.  Juliet collapsed in Central Park.  Her driver began to beat her with a whip on his veterinarian's orders, he said, believing she had colic, to try to get her to stand and walk to rid herself of gas and toxins. But she could not stand; Juliet rose and collapsed several times.  She was trailered to the stable and died there hours later, reportedly from rhabdomyolysis or "Tying up disease."  Juliet was a lovely Percharon/American draft cross in her 20's, who had been pulling carriages for at least 17 years.  Central Park.  {23} (Central Park & Environs)

57) May 5, 2006.  A spooked horse pulling a carriage from Shamrock Stable ran through the street narrowly missing several cars before colliding with and overturning a moving car, which was badly damaged.  The horse tumbled, then staggered back up, and witnesses observed a gash on the horse's neck.  The driver of the car was hospitalized with wounded hands.  W. 46th St. & 11th Ave.  {56} (Stables & Elsewhere)
58) April 28, 2006.  A young carriage horse on a training run spooked and ran wild in Central Park crashing into a 71-year-old bicyclist who was seriously injured and suffered a dislocated leg.  The driver of the empty carriage had lost control of the horse and leapt from the carriage injuring his knee.  The horse had jumped off East Drive and galloped near 67th St. before continuing west to collide with the bicyclist at 64th St. & Central Drive.  The bicyclist and carriage driver were both hospitalized.  64th St. & Central Drive.  {24} (Central Park & Environs)
59) January 2, 2006.  SPOTTY DIES.  5-year-old gelding Spotty, in the carriage business only a few months, returning to Westside Stables, spooked in traffic near the Lincoln Tunnel and bolted down 9th Avenue.  He collided with a station wagon at 50th Street, and was pinned underneath for half an hour, head on the ground, legs on the roof.  Spotty suffered a broken leg.  He was terrified and resistant as he was led away, bucking and kicking, very afraid, and he was euthanized that day.  His driver, who had only eight months experience with horses, was thrown from the cab and hospitalized in a coma, critically injured with a fractured skull.  The station wagon passengers suffered minor injuries.  50th St. & 9th Ave.  {57} (Stables & Elsewhere)
60) May 13, 2005.  Two horses from Chateau Stables galloped through the streets after their carriage was rear-ended by a van. The carriage flipped over and freed them around 14th Street and 8th Avenue; the carriage driver was thrown and landed on his head.  Police later caught the horses.  14th St. & 8th Ave.  {58} (Stables & Elsewhere)
61) October 24, 2003.  Two horses spooked, tipping their carriages, and four people were injured.  At 5th Avenue and 61st Street, a carriage horse startled and reared up, tipping the carriage and dumping two female tourists and the driver. Another driver came to help, and his horse also spooked and tipped that carriage in turn, hurting a female passenger.  The three passengers and first driver were taken to hospital for treatment.  5th Ave. & 61st St.  {25} (Central Park & Environs)
62) January 22, 2002.  A horse pulling a carriage spooked and bolted at 10th Avenue and 56th Street.  His carriage got wedged between two cars, and he was so unnerved that he needed to be tranquilized.  It took several people to free him.  A few cars were damaged.  10th Ave. & 56th St.  {59} (Stables & Elsewhere)
63) November 26, 2001.  A taxi cab collided with a horse-drawn carriage in the southern end of Central Park, startling the horse and injuring the carriage driver.  Central Park.  {26} (Central Park & Environs)
64) November 9, 2000.  A horse broke free of the carriage, bolted, and collided with a car while galloping down the street.  The horse tripped and fell to the ground, injuring a leg.  Chelsea.  {60} (Stables & Elsewhere)
65) November 2, 2000. A horse broke free from her carriage at Columbus Circle and hit at least one car as she galloped to Broadway, stopping morning traffic as people watched in horror.  The horse went about half-a-block before the harness broke, entangling the horse and tripping her.  The horse fell and slid down the street.  Columbus Circle/Broadway.  {27} (Central Park & Environs)
66) September 5, 2000.  A runaway carriage horse broke free from his driver at W. 59th Street and Central Park South, and ran headlong through the streets of Manhattan.  Police moved pedestrians and drivers out of the horse's path until they blocked his escape at W. 72nd Street and Central Park West.  Central Park.  {28} (Central Park & Environs)
67) August 27, 2000. Turning a narrow corner in Central Park, the shaft dug into the horse's side, panicking the horse, who tried to run, slamming the carriage over on its side and injuring a vacationing British family of four in a "harrowing tumble."  The horse then took off through the park heading straight for a hot dog vendor who had to jump out of the way.  The tourists were strapped to backboards and taken to hospital for minor injuries. "We're animal lovers, so we were delighted that the horse wasn't hurt," said the Mum.  "But we're not having any more of those rides."  Just inside Central Park at Central Park South/Avenue of the Americas entrance.  {29} (Central Park & Environs)

68) April 27, 2000.  A carriage horse, Rocky, broke loose from his midtown stable.  Narrowly missing being hit by a bus, he turned onto Tenth Avenue, creating havoc as drivers slammed on their brakes to avoid hitting him.  Rocky headed for a traffic agent who had her back to him.  "If I had stood there for another second, he would have killed me," she said.  Rocky was eventually corralled by Craig Rivera, brother of Geraldo, cutting him off in his Volvo.  Tenth Avenue.  {61}  (Stables & Elsewhere)
69) August 5, 1999.  A runaway horse and carriage struck a car, jumped the sidewalk, and knocked down a 70-year-old man and a 68-year-old woman at 9th Avenue and 51st Street.  The woman was pinned under the horse's rear hoof and was treated for minor injuries.  The man needed a hip replacement because of the fall.  9th Ave. & 51st St.  {62} (Stables & Elsewhere)
70) July 1, 1999.  A horse spooked and the carriage struck two parked cars before the horse galloped into another car.  Chelsea. {63} (Stables & Elsewhere)
71) June 28, 1999.  A hit-and-run driver smacked into a horse-drawn carriage at Central Park West and 69th Street, throwing the carriage driver onto the street and shattering her jawbone, and sending her spooked horse galloping north on Central Park West.  "The gelding's wild run ended when he bolted into the southbound lane and was hit by an oncoming car."  Miraculously, neither horse nor car driver was injured.  The carriage driver went to hospital.  Central Park West.  {30} (Central Park & Environs)
72) June 21, 1999.  A carriage horse was startled and threw his driver on Central Park West and 57th Street.  A second carriage driver tried to stop the runaway horse but failed, sustaining minor injuries.  The horse got stuck between a parked car and a yellow cab, which hit the horse.  The yellow cab driver was injured and hospitalized with head and neck injuries. The horse's condition is unknown.  Central Park West & 57th Street.  {31} (Central Park & Environs)
73) January 8, 1999.  JACKIE DIES.  Only 7-years-old, gentle dapple-grey Jackie collapsed and died, electrocuted, when she stepped on a steel Con Edison service box on East 59th Street between Park and Madison Avenues.  The wet weather, a short circuit, and her metal horse shoes caused her death.  The driver suffered minor injuries.  E. 59th between Madison and Park Aves.  {32} (Central Park & Environs) 

74) April 29, 1998. HORSE DIES.  A horse broke his halter, ran into a busy street, and was killed by an oncoming car.  The driver of the car was treated for back injuries.  Location unknown.  {64} (Location unknown)
75) January 13, 1998.  A runaway horse, Nicky, pulling a carriage sent scores of Times Square strollers fleeing for their lives.  Two passengers jumped from the careening carriage seconds before it flipped into a light pole and broke apart at 7th Avenue and 42nd Street; the passengers were taken to hospital.  Nicky was headed toward a hotel entrance when the carriage flipped.  Times Square.  {65} (Stables & Elsewhere)
76) November 23, 1997.  A runaway horse pulling a carriage bolted at Broadway and Central Park South, banged into a Ford and bounded onto the sidewalk at Avenue of the Americas and Central Park South, running over a tourist who was knocked to the ground and dragged a few feet. She was hospitalized. The carriage driver took off with the horse, who was in shock, but the driver was later issued a summons by police for leaving the scene.  Central Park South.  {33} (Central Park & Environs)
77) September 4, 1997.  Horses pulling two carriages were spooked by a passing car.  An elderly woman was seriously injured and eight other people hurt.  Location Unknown.  {66}  (Location Unknown)
78) May 1, 1997. HORSE DIES.  A horse pulling a carriage on 49th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues tripped, then died as he struggled to get up.  49th St. between 7th & 8th Aves.  {67} (Stables & Elsewhere)
79) September 2, 1996.  HORSE DIES. A 10 to 12-year old horse pulling a carriage collapsed on the street and died in front of the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, then known as the Hotel St. Moritz, at 50 Central Park South, on the east side of 6th Avenue.  Ritz-Carlton, 50 Central Park South.  {34} (Central Park & Environs)
80) May 6, 1994. HORSE DIES. Another horse collapsed and died.  Diagnosis indicated tying up syndrome, an extreme cramping of the rear legs, indicating poor horse management (poor feeding routines, lack of water, inadequate medical attention and stabling practices).  Location Unknown.  {68} (Location Unknown) 
81) April 21, 1994.  HORSE DIES.  A horse had to be euthanized after collapsing in Central Park.  Three observers thought the horse had been hit by a cab, but another said the cause was severe cramps from "tying-up syndrome" that can cause collapse of the rear legs, brought on by dehydration and poor dietary management.  Central Park.  {35} (Central Park & Environs)
82) August 26, 1991.  NICKELS DIES.  Nickels was euthanized by a veterinarian near the entrance to the Central Park Zoo, after developing crippling leg pain, due to "tying-up syndrome," caused by poor horse management (poor feeding routines, lack of water, inadequate medical attention and stabling practices).  Near Central Park Zoo.  {36} (Central Park & Environs)
83) August 12, 1991 (approximately).  HORSE DIES.  Owned by the same owner as Nickels, newspapers reported that this horse died two weeks before Nickels, also in Central Park.  While Newsweek speculated that colic may have caused both deaths, tying-up syndrome fits Nickels' symptoms more closely, and so may have caused the death of this horse also.  Central Park.  {37} (Central Park & Environs)

84) May 15, 1990.  TONY DIES.  Tony, pulling a carriage, was repeatedly hit by a bus; locked in traffic, he could not escape.  The driver of the carriage behind Tony deposed: "The bus started to overtake them...weaved in and out of the right lane, got too close and struck the horse's head with its right side...The bus continued to move as the horse continued to get struck and finally went down, losing [his] footing in the asphalt, until [he] spooked, screamed and fell to [his] death under the bus."  She added that the bus appeared to be "playing" with the carriage.  10th Avenue.  {69} (Stables & Elsewhere)
85) May 1990. An accident involving an unattended horse at Grand Army Plaza resulted in four wrecked yellow cabs and a hospitalized cab driver.  Grand Army Plaza and beyond.  {40} (Central Park & Environs)
86) May, 1990. A horse panicked and spooked, due to faulty harnessing, ending in a wild police chase to stop the horse. Location unknown.  {39} (Location Unknown)
87) August 15, 1988.  WHITEY collapsed of heat stroke and dehydration in 90 degree heat at 62nd Street and 2nd Avenue in "hot, steamy weather."  8-year-old light-grey gelding Whitey from Shamrock Stables struggled to rise for more than two hours on NYC's 200 + degree pavement, and following on Misty's death (see below), Whitey's struggle was telecast around the world, provoking outrage.  (The law still permits carriage horses to work in 90 degree heat, without regard to humidity.) Whitey was given IV saline solution, hosed with cool water for  two hours, given painkillers, and later bathed in mayonnaise to rid his body of tar picked up lying in the street.  With the world watching, the ASPCA ruled that Whitey rest for a month at a bucolic New Jersey farm--but then he was brought back to work in the city.  Again, following on Misty's death, people were outraged.  A Daily News editorial read, "If torturing an animal on Fifth Avenue is a tourist attraction, the tourists must be Ostrogoths, Visigoths, and Huns."  But the Mayor--Mayor Koch--only proposed putting hats on horses to prevent heat stroke.  62nd St. & 2nd Ave.  {71} (Stables & Elsewhere)
88) August 7, 1988.  MISTY DIES.  A week before Whitey's collapse, 6-year-old mare Misty collapsed and died of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration from heat and high humidity.  Then, as now, there was no humidity limit for when the carriage horses could work. The West Side near 12th Avenue.  {70} (Stables & Elsewhere)
89) May 23, 1988.  A horse pulling a carriage fell into a manhole.  Location Unknown.  {72} (Location Unknown)
90) November 9, 1986.  Frightened by a passing car, a horse took off down the street, crashing into a building.  Location Unknown.  {73} (Location Unknown)

91) December 9, 1985.  CHESTER DIES.  Chester spooked--either his carriage was sideswiped, or a carriage behind them was hit by a speeding car.  Chester bolted down the block and collided with a limosine at Rockefeller Center, landing on the hood, smashing the windshield.  Chester fell beneath the car, broke his leg, and was euthanized.  Chester belonged to Chateau Stables on W. 48th, where he "had a quiet disposition that you can train.  We used him to train other horses."  Four elderly female tourists--retired schoolteachers from Boston--were thrown out of the carriage and injured.  They all returned home in wheelchairs and slings, one woman going blind in one eye due to severe head trauma.  There was no compensation to be had for medical costs, which they couldn't afford.  Rockefeller Center.  {74} (Stables & Elsewhere)
92) December 9, 1985.  [A different incident on same date.]  Another carriage horse broke loose from her handler at 48th Street and Broadway and galloped toward her stable before being corralled by police at 12th Avenue and 48th Street.  48th St., Broadway to 12th Avenue.  {75} (Stables & Elsewhere)
93) December, 1983. (Exact date unknown).  DENNIS DIES.  Dennis died at Westside Livery Stables of overwork and poor nutrition at the holiday season. “One former driver resigned due to the abuse she witnessed during the holiday season, when drivers up the ante…Her horse Dennis had been overworked to the point where his legs were wobbly.  But the owner [of the stable], oblivious to the horse’s condition, insisted he keep working, without a rest break, during a nine-hour day.  When they finally returned to the stables, the horse was shivering and frothing at the mouth.  But the driver was told to report promptly the next morning  at 8 A.M., to take the same horse out again, or she would lose her carriage.  Days after she quit, she learned her horse had died. ‘Horses are fed only oats, the cheapest we can find,’ she attested.  No fresh fruit or vegetables are offered to the carriage horses unless individual drivers bring their own.  Horses are herbivores and need variation in their diets or they can develop colic (acute spasms and abdominal pain) which can lead to death.” Westside Livery Stables, 538 W. 38th St., between 10th & 11th Avenues.  {38a} (Stables & Elsewhere)
94) December 31, 1982.  A carriage horse frightened by New Year's Eve fireworks charged into a "tidal wave" of densely packed runners at the 10th annual Road Runners Midnight Run on Central Park's West Drive, injuring 13 people in the screaming melee (including broken bones and at least one concussion) and knocking down dozens of others, still others trampling and tripping over the fallen.  The injured were rushed to hospitals.  The horse was finally stopped unhurt in the middle of West Drive at 70th Street. West Drive, Central Park.  {41} (Central Park & Environs)
95) August 4, 1982.  MAGGIO DIES.  12-year old bay gelding collapsed and died at the Central Park South park entrance.
{4a}  (Central Park & Environs)

96) July 18, 1982.  HORSE DIES.  A carriage horse collapsed and died in the street while working, due to heat and humidity. Indeed, on this terrible day, three carriage horses died from the heat and humidity in the streets of New York. The high that day was 98 degrees.  Location Unknown.  {76} (Location Unknown)
97) July 18, 1982.  HORSE DIES.  A second carriage horse collapsed and died in the streets while working, due to extreme heat and humidity on the same terrible day.  Location Unknown.  {77} (Location Unknown)
98) July 18, 1982. HORSE DIES.  This is the third of the carriage horses who tragically died in the streets, while working, of high heat and humidity, on July 18, 1982.  Location Unknown.  {78} (Location Unknown)

Tickles, February 13, 2015.  Euthanized when mysteriously discovered in stall with fractured leg.
Charlie, October 23, 2011.  Collapsed and died, found to have had gastric ulcers and cracked tooth.  Gastric ulcers are principally caused by inadequate pasture and stress.
Unnamed Horse, September, 2009.  Caught his foot in a parking meter and had to be euthanized.
Clancy, February 7, 2008.  Clancy, an eight-year-old, male Draft Percheron, was found dead at the Clinton Park stables on 11th Avenue near 52nd Street at approximately 10 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, according to stable personnel.  The horse reportedly had not worked since the previous Saturday, February 2, and was being treated by a licensed veterinarian.  When ASPCA agents requested the horse's records from the department of Health, administration officials in an unprecedented manner refused to provide the information and for the first time directed ASPCA agents to file a FOIA request.
Smoothie, September 14, 2007.  Spooking accident on the Central Park hack line; Smoothie was spooked by a small drum.
Juliet, September 15, 2006.  Juliet, still working into her 20's, after 17 years pulling carriages, collapsed in central Park, possibly of colic, on September 14; she couldn't rise, and was brought back to the stable, where she died the morning of September 15, 2006.
Spotty, January 4, 2006.  Spooking accident, collided with a station wagon; euthanized for broken leg.
Jackie, January 8, 1999.  Only 7-years-old, Jackie collapsed and died, electrocuted, when she stepped on a steel Con Edison service box cover on E. 59th Street.  The wet weather, a short circuit, and her metal horse shoes caused her death.
Unnamed Horse, April 29, 1998.  The horse broke his halter, ran into a busy street, and was killed by an oncoming car.
Unnamed Horse, May 1, 1997.  Pulling a carriage, the horse tripped, and died while struggling to get up, on 49th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
Unnamed Horse, May 6, 1994.  The horse collapsed and died; diagnosis indicated poor stable management, believed to be "tying-up syndrome" (extreme cramping of rear legs, which can cause collapse, leading to death).
Unnamed Horse, April 21, 1994.  The horse was euthanized when dietary error led to severe cramps and collapse in Central Park.  Tying-up syndrome was suspected.
Unnamed Horse, September 2, 1991.  The horse collapsed and died outside Hotel St. Moritz (now Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park).
Unnamed Horse, around August 12, 1991.  This horse was owned by the same owner as Nickels.  Newspapers reported he died two weeks before Nickels; Newsweek speculated colic may have caused both deaths.
Nickels, August 26, 1991.  Nickels was euthanized for crippling leg pain in Central Park.
Tony, May 15, 1990.  Tony was trapped in traffic, repeatedly hit by a bus.  "The approaching bus was obscured by his blinders until it was upon him."
Misty, August 7, 1988.  Misty, a 6-year-old mare, collapsed and died of heat exhaustion, working in hot, humid heat. (Temperature 91 degrees, but very humid.)
Chester, December 9, 1985.  Sideswiped in traffic, Chester spooked, bolted down the block, and jumped onto the hood of a car, smashing the windshield, at Rockefeller Center.  Chester fell beneath the car, broke his leg, and was euthanized.  He was owned by Chateau Stables on W. 48th Street, where it was said that he "had a quiet disposition that you can train.  We used him to train other horses."  Four elderly passengers spilled from the carriage and were seriously injured.
Dennis, December, 1983 (exact date unknown).  Dennis died of overwork and inadequate nutrition during the holiday season.
Maggio, August 4, 1982.  Maggio, a 12-year-old bay gelding, collapsed and died at Central Park South.
3 Unnamed Horses, July 18, 1982.  On July 18, 1982, three carriage horses collapsed and died in New York streets while working, due to heat and humidity; the high that day was 98 degrees.  

This was Spotty as he was led away limping, seriously injured in this horrific accident.  He was euthanized that night.   

The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
P.O. Box 20247  | Park West Station  | New York, NY 10025  |

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Former Horse Carriage Owner Speaks out against Intro 573-B - the no-ban bill

Former Horse Carriage Owner Speaks out
against Intro 573-B -- the NYC Council bill that sells out the horses

To Whom It May Concern / NY City Council

As a horse owner and former carriage livery operator I have been very concerned about the living and working conditions faced by the horses used in the NYC street hack tourist carriage industry for several years now.

At first, I believed these horses were adequately cared for and given proper care, just as my own horses were. But after looking into how the tourist carriage industry operates in New York City, I realized that working and living conditions for these horses were unacceptable.

As a person who has ridden, shown, driven and bred horses for a span of more than 50 years, I can honestly say that I would not keep or work any of my horses under the conditions most of the carriage horse owners or drivers in NYC apparently believe are satisfactory.

I also do not support Mayor Bill deBlasio's proposed compromise as being in the best interests of these horses either.

Here are my reasons for believing his plan is NOT good for the horses and does not meet their needs. I also believe it is not in the best interest of the pedicab owners/drivers, and of the members of the general public who use Central Park.

The first and most important reason is that the plan does not provide for any turnout at liberty (unharnessed or unhaltered without a lead) in a large paddock or pasture. Horses are social animals and without access to an area where they can exercise or graze at the very least several times a week - preferably with other horses to whom they are accustomed--, they develop "vices" or bad habits such as chewing wood, cribbing, weaving in their stalls and can become hard to manage. These habits can cause illness and make them unsound for work.
Large draft horses and draft crosses need adequate stall space, especially if they do not have ANY access to turnout for months at a time. Currently many of these horses are housed in stalls that do not meet the minimum recommended square footage for horses of their size (a MINIMUM of a 12 ft. by 12 ft. stall) and the mayor's proposed new stable provides for only 10 ft. by 10 ft. stalls -- these are INADEQUATE for the size of most of the horses used by the carriage owners and driver in NYC.

The plan to keep the number of medallioned carriages at 68 while reducing the number of horses to only 75 means the horses will have to work MORE than they do now. It is my opinion that these horses are already working shifts that are too long and too often now. Really having horses stand or work on hard surfaces in city traffic for 9 hours a day, often 7 days a week is already possibly injurious to their health and minds, especially with all the pollutants in the air. It also probably isn't good for the drivers either.

The mayor's plan does not provide ANY protection from slaughter for these faithful animals once they become injured or too old to work. In this day and time, that is simply a crime and is inherently inhumane. Former NYC carriage horses have already been found in kill buyers' lots destined to slaughter. Without legal protection, I believe this will continue to happen.
The provision to remove the VISIBLE license numbers on the horses' hooves is also not a very good idea and will make it easier for dishonest owners and drivers to try to pass one horse off as another. This has already been the case. A driver was caught trying to pass an old horse with respiratory problems, who should not be working, off as a younger sound horse. I believe these horses should have BOTH a visible hoof brand and a microchip. But to be honest, many sales barns and dealers do not bother to check to see if a horse is micro chipped.

I also believe that if horse-drawn carriages are going to be allowed to continue to operate in NYC and other densely populated urban areas with heavy motorized traffic, the drivers need to be better trained and supervised. The mayor's proposed compromise does not address this issue at all. There are countless videos and photos on the Internet that show drivers blatantly ignoring regulations that are already on the books to make carriage driving safe. Drivers routinely leave their horses unattended and untethered curbside. Even the best trained horse can be startled or spooked by a sudden loud noise or unfamiliar sight. This had happened DOZENS of times in the past 10 years since I became aware of the situation in NYC. Sometimes people and horses have been seriously injured, and often these incidents have resulted in the death of the horses involved on the street or their euthansia back at the stables. Really, the sight of a dead horse in the street is not very conducive to tourism.
There are also other issues that make this proposed compromise suspect. For example, if I lived in NYC, I would not want public funds spent to build a stable for a very few -- 68 or so -- people to be able to pursue their own private for-profit businesses. I also do not think it is fair to give one set of business owners a monopoly at the expense of others in a similar service industry. I am referring to the pedicab owners and drivers being excluded from portions of Central Park while the carriage owners and drivers are granted access to these same areas, exclusively. But THESE are issues that would be more of a concern to NYC citizens and tax payers. 

I am mainly concerned about the welfare of the horses involved because the treatment these horses have received, and are continuing to receive at the hands of some of the carriage owners reflects badly on all of us who own and drive horses. I can honestly say that during the seven years that I operated a special events and wedding carriage livery, not a street hack business like the tourist carriages under discussion in NYC, I was negatively impacted by stories of horses running away and being injured or causing injury to drivers and passengers in your city. After the horse named Oreo spooked, bolted and became a runaway, the video was carried by many network affiliates including the one in Baton Rouge, near where I operated my business. I lost two wedding bookings as a result of the fear that video engendered in the public.

My business model was nothing like the street hacks in your town, but I was still affected. As a private carriage livery operator, my horses were booked for specific events and rarely traveled on public streets at all. They were usually at weddings and other functions held on private property, and they actually worked no longer than 3 hours at a time from unloading to reloading and going home.

I know that the NYC carriage owners and drivers like to claim that only they "know" about horses, and only they are qualified to speak to the issue of equine care. Just for reference, I have been riding horses since age five and I began driving in the show ring when I was in my twenties. My late husband and I bred and showed flat shod Tennessee Walking Horses for more than ten years. We produced several champion horses, including a horse that was exported to Germany and won several gaited classes at the Equitania, including a gaited championship there.

I operated a profitable special events livery from 2007 through 2015 when I ceased making my horses and "rolling stock" available for hire. I owned a total of six draft horses, all of whom were retired at my expense on my property. I still drive my remaining horses and ponies for personal pleasure on the streets of my small rural town and at selected historical reenactment events in my area.

In closing, I urge the council and anyone who has a modicum of concern for the welfare of NYC's carriage horses to reject this poorly planned compromise as not being in the best interests of the horses or the citizens of NYC who share the streets of Central Park with them and the carriages.


Mrs. H. B. Willis 
Elysian Fields Farm 

P.O. Box 272
Clinton, LA 7072

Saturday, December 12, 2015



There are good horse stables and there are bad horse stables.
Judge for yourself

    In NYC, the law allows carriage horse horse stalls to be as small as 60 square feet – 6’ x 10’ – even though many of the horses are large drafts weighing upwards of 2,000 pounds.  Equine  experts recommend stalls be 144 square feet or 12' x 12'  - with even more space
    provided to larger horses.  There is not enough space in NYC to do this right and the
    drivers want to cram in as many money-making machines (horses) as possible.  This is,
    after all, a business - not a horse-sanctuary.  When these horses cannot cut it anymore,
    they are gone.  
    The law does not require turnout to pasture since the land does not exist.  The law also
    allows the stalls to be on upper floors – accessible by a steep ramp.  How steep is it you
    ask?  Imagine a warehouse building with two floors connected by a staircase.  Remove
    the stair and replace it with a ramp, which because of the small space, is very steep.  This
    is how the horses access their stalls.  It is uncomfortable for them,  especially the older
    ones, to go up and down every day. The ideal is to have the stalls on the first floor.  

   These are some pictures published by ChelseaNow lauding these stables as old New 
    York.  But they are not historical landmark material.  They are just old, smelly, decrepit 
   buildings that warehouse horses like a prison. 

   These pictures are available for the public via this newspaper.  However they are nothing
   to be proud of. 

Chateau Stables on 48th St. - This stall is too small for this carriage horse at 60 square feet.   The horse still wears a  halter.  Although permissible, it is obviously done for the convenience of the drivers.  But it is uncomfortable for a horse to wear it 24/7.   More proof that these horses are just "products" and money making machines. 

Carriage Horse stable - Although Liam Neeson might want to live here, it is a disaster for horses.  Note that it has one means of egress in the middle.  If there were a fire, the horses would panic trying to descend a ramp to get out one exit.   This is what the unions and City Council want to preserve? 

Carriage Horse stable - Clinton Stables  on 52nd St. - It is not OK for a horse to be sharing his oats with pigeons.  The pigeons defecate on the oats in the bucket, which is then eaten by the horses. 

West Side Livery on 38th St. - small and cramped and dirty.  Couldn't they at least have cleaned up for the photographer?  I guess they did not care. 
 Again - horses wearing halters.


This stable belongs to a rescue in Massachusetts.  The stalls are 12' x 12' with a 10' wide aisle.  Note the horses are not wearing halters while resting.  The name of this rescue is withheld to prevent them from being harassed.  

Horses are herd animals and love to graze.   This is something that is not available for them in NYC. 

      NYC should not be supporting this business.  It is cruel and inhumane to the horses.  No 
     matter how hard the carriage owners, Liam Neeson, some of the Council members and 
     others try to make this look romantic and "olde New York."  it is inhumane and marks NYC
     as one that does not care about animals. 
     It is also unsafe and dangerous to people whether the horses are housed in Hells Kitchen or Central Park.
     Additionally, the 68 medallion owners are the only ones who make out here -- not the
      drivers.  Do not believe that there are 350 "good union jobs."  There are only 120 drivers
     who belong to the union and they receive no benefits. 

     Unions are losing membership all over the country and they need this to show their
    strength.  But it is based on a lie at the expense of the horses.  The Mayor and Council 
    Members are terrified that the unions will come after them in the next election. 
    So in the end -- what are they trying to protect?  What is really behind all of this nonsense?

    Is this the kind of city you want to live in?  


Sunday, December 6, 2015


(please write letter posted below - all info provided)  

Just before the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday, when  fewer people were  paying attention, the NY Times reported that Mayor deBlasio plans to REDUCE not BAN the carriage trade.  This took us by surprise.  The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages started this campaign in 2006 - a culmination of 15 previous years of working on this issue.    Yet the Mayor has never once reached out to us to consult or ask our opinion.  Why?  MONEY TALKS and without it, you do not have  a seat at the table.  Unfortunately this is what our mayor is all about.  Remember his campaign  phrase "tale of two cities?"  Sounded catchy at the time, but he is the worse offender - exacerbating the "two cities" concept by only listening to big donors. 

Here are some of the recent articles.


For starters - please accept that this will not happen.  The carriage trade is already opposing it because it cuts jobs.  It would be easier to get a total ban than to go through these kinds of machinations. 

While the details have not been released yet, the Mayor is talking about reducing the number of horses in the industry to 70  -  down from approximately 200 and moving them into Central Park.    Will the City build a costly new stable on public park land for a private industry -- built with public money?   Or will they try to cram these  horses into the existing stables in Central Park that were used to house 5 horses?   Anything is possible.  If you think this will come with pasture turnout and appropriately sized stalls - think again and take off your blinders. 

This will not only require approval by the City Council but because of state law governing parks -- if the plan is to build, it will also require the approval of the NYS legislature and Governor Cuomo -- unless they figure out a way around it.  Very possible. 


Mostly, this is a transparent ploy to stave off criticism by activists (letters, public protests) that Mayor deBlasio has not fulfilled his promise of banning the inhumane and unsafe carriage trade – because he is too weak.   deBlasio’s ratings have sunk and he is trying to do damage control. The mayor has two years to reelection and he wants to keep the activist community at bay.  Will you fall for it?  That is the question to answer.

The Mayor is quoted in the NY Times as saying "he made a commitment to his supporters and wants to show he is a man of his word."  News flash.   He promised to BAN the inhumane and unsafe trade - nothing less. That is not being true to his "word" at all. 


For some reason, the mayor and his staff, who do not have much knowledge about the horses, are suggesting that this is all about the "horses in traffic."  They would be wrong although that is certainly one of the concerns. It is about so much more -- the punishing existing of working 9 hours a day, 7 days a week - in all kinds of weather; the inadequate sized stalls - 1/2 the size that experts recommend; no turnout to pasture; being sent to kill auctions when no longer wanted ; little to no law enforcement - allowing the drivers to make illegal U-turns; leaving their horses unattended and untethered; overloading carriages, etc.

The horses' nature will not change.  They are still prey animals and can spook at the slightest provocation, becoming unwitting weapons when they bolt  -  able to cause injury or death to themselves or innocent passersby.  This is not going to change because they live in Central Park.
The hack line on Central Park South will most likely remain because this is where the drivers get their customers.  But this is also where many of the accidents occur.


This was a study of the carriage trade required by the proposed bill, Intro 573.  We do not know what it "studied" because that information was never released.   It was completed in June, 2015 but never officially published.    Months ago, we put through a Freedom of Information request - (FOIL)  but continue to get monthly e-mail responses saying it is delayed until "next month."  Why the lack of transparency?  We want to know what the Mayor is hiding? 


Although we have never thought the existing stable property in Hell's Kitchen was a consideration in banning the horse carriage trade, this proposal is suspicious – if the drivers buy it – and they probably will not – their four stables will be freed up – and they will probably sell them. Interesting? We think so.


The Mayor could have done this right if he had listened to us and others at the beginning – instead of those who gave him big donations. He could have opted for the proposal to replace the horse carriages with RETROFITTED CARRIAGES – with no horses. (NOT ELECTRIC CARS) The drivers should have jumped at this opportunity.  They complain that people insult them and call them horse abusers but as long as horses are involved, this will not change whether they move into the park or not.  They will never work in an industry where they and their families can be proud of what they do because of the ongoing attacks.   Liam Neeson can try to defend them by saying they love their horses like children, but this will not stop a passerby from shouting "get a real job, horse abuser."  The drivers need to face facts - This is simply the way it is.

if they were serious about this complaint, they would look for viable ways to continue in something that closely resembled their current business but did not have horses.  Retrofitted carriages would allow them to continue with the same business model; they would have been in control; still kept their stables to store the same carriages they always used but now would be  retrofitted.   The cost was a fraction of the electric cars – Maybe $20,000 each compared to $200,000 for an electric car. Instead the drivers foolishly dug in their heels saying “no compromise.”

Now they run the risk of losing everything.

The Mayor is not keeping his word and this is NOT a step in the right direction. Don’t be fooled. We want ALL the horses retired to sanctuaries – after all when slavery was abolished, no one agreed to reduce the number of people kept as slaves – it was total abolition. We will accept nothing less.


Please contact the people below who are in the deBlasio administration and tell them that the Mayor must show the leadership abilities for which we elected him and that he must make this ban happen.  A promise made is a promise made to be kept - See sample letter below:

If you do not contact these policy makers, nothing will happen.  So please do it! 

Anthony Shorris - First Deputy Mayor

Marco Carrion - Commissioner of Community Affairs

Emma Wolfe - Intergovernmental

Jeffrey Dupee - Community Affairs

Ramon Martinez - Speaker's Office,,,, 

This is a sample letter -- just copy and paste: 

Honorable Officials,
I am writing to express my extreme disappointment and displeasure over the failure in leadership demonstrated by Mayor DeBlasio, concerning the issue of the carriage horse ban.  While the Mayor claims he has done everything possible to move this forward, and ban supporters have made every effort to contact their own Council members, it appears that he has absolutely no clout with the City Council in getting them to support his bill.  Why then would New Yorkers want to re-elect someone who is so weak?

We do not support the new plan to reduce the size of the industry.  It appears to be a ploy to keep the activist community at bay.

The Mayor must show the leadership abilities for which we elected him and must make this ban happen or I will certainly not support or vote for him again.  A promise made is a promise made to be kept!