Lilly is a 19 year old mare now living at Central New England Equine Rescue. Dubbed Ms. Lilly O’Reilly, Lilly, who is quite tall at 18.2 hands, was purchased by a Boston carriage owner at the New Holland auctions to be used in the trade. But angels intervened and she was rescued. Lilly did not come with any papers and no one knew her history. But she had some health problems from obvious overwork. She had pronounced harness sores as evidenced in the photo and was very underweight. Her nose shows pink skin from her bridle rubbing her fur off. (Ms. Lilly O'Reilly - in her new digs) Photo by Cheryl Syriac.
Lilly’s caretakers say she is a very sweet girl but still has such a sad, lost look in her eyes as many of the rescues do. She is healing nicely and is putting on weight. Although she has people interested in adopting her, the rescue organization will not do so until she is restored both physically and spiritually.
One of the interesting things about this adoption was that Ms. Lilly has the number #2711 engraved on her hoof – NYC carriage horses are so identified. It turns out that Ms. Lilly was a NYC carriage horse, who belonged to Clemente Cretella and was housed at West Side Livery. It is clear that when they no longer had a use for this horse, they dumped her at New Holland to be exposed to the killer buyers.
Lilly was lucky – no thanks to West Side Livery. We wonder how many of the other carriage horses who are no longer around met their fate at New Holland and ended up on the dinner plate of someone in France, Belgium, Italy or Japan.
Update: MS. LILLY O’REILLY - February 2007