Weekly updates about issues and actions concerning New York City's Carriage Horses

Current Issue - Past Issues

3 June 2007 - Vol. # 31 (Also see, SPECIAL EDITION: 3 June 2007 - Vol. # 32)

* Volunteering * The odor travels * what the travel industry says * letters

Tabling on Saturday, June 9th
volunteers tablindThe weather is great and the horses need your help. The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages needs volunteers to help get signatures on petitions to the Mayor and City Council -- and to hold posters. This is not a demonstration but an educational event. It is an excellent opportunity to help the horses and to see how supportive both tourists and New Yorkers are. You can volunteer for one hour or four. We need to know when you will be there so we are sure to have coverage. Please contact Teresa at if you can volunteer.

WHEN: Saturday, June 9th, 2007 WHERE: midtown - information will be given to volunteers. TIME: 1-5 PM

they can smell it in New Zealand
Tour busses on CPSHorse-drawn carriages an environmental hazard? -- June 1, 2007 -- Hot and humid days in New York are highlighting the environmental issues surrounding horse-drawn tourist carriages. Last Saturday supporters of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages gathered in the city to draw attention to their cause - and were surprised at the odor of horse waste in Central Park.

"Saturday was so hot and humid that the smell of horse waste on Central Park South was overwhelming," a spokesman said. "It is beyond my understanding how the people who live on this high priced boulevard - or those who dine in the outdoor restaurants - put up with this. In plain English - it stinks!" The exhaust fumes from tour buses unloading and loading passengers also drew attention: "The buses pull into the hack line and discharge not only passengers but harmful diesel exhaust fumes."

Bath, England -- not NYC
rsized into parkA horse-drawn carriage company in Bath, England faces losing its license because the horses keep fouling the city's highways. The owner does not clean up after his horses and many people have complained. Their council is listening!

In New York City the fouling of the environment marches on. While most responsible horse owners deal with this odor by mucking their horses' stalls out daily and treating for urine odor, Central Park South is not so lucky. Particularly in the hot weather, the smell of manure and urine is very strong. Urine is only washed away (not adequately) by rain; manure is picked up by the Sanitation Dept. Both permeate the street and sidewalks. A few years back, some restaurant owners complained about this smell. The authorities ignored their complaints, but it was charged that some of the drivers withheld food and water from the horses. This was difficult to prove.

what they're saying about the carriage horses
hack line - editedFROMMER'S travel guides have been serving the public for over 50 years. On their site, they talk about New York Experiences to Avoid. These include Three-Card Monte, New Year's Eve in Times Square, the bait and switch electronic stores in Times Squares -- and the carriage horses. "Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides: Pity those poor beasts of burden. They get dragged out in the heat (though not extreme heat) and cold (though not extreme cold) with a buggy attached to them just to give passengers the feel of an old-world, romantic buggy ride through Central Park. But the horses look so forlorn, as if it's the last thing they want to do. And they don't even get a cut of the generous take: $40 for a 20-minute ride, $60 for 45 minutes, excluding tip. If you want a slow, leisurely ride through Central Park, minus the ripe and frequent smell of horse poop, consider an alternative called Manhattan Rickshaw Company (tel. 212/604-4729). The beast of burden behind the rickshaw has two legs, and the rate is about $1 per minute."

From SIDE STEP - THE TRAVELER'S SEARCH ENGINE: "At the entrance to the park at 59th Street and Central Park South, you'll see a line of horse-drawn carriages waiting to take passengers on a ride through the park or along certain of the city's streets. Horses belong on city streets as much as chamber pots belong in our homes. You won't need me to tell you how forlorn most of these horses look; if you insist, a ride is about $50 for two for a half-hour, but I suggest skipping it." and from TRAVEL IN NY - NYC UPPER WEST SIDE -- In describing the many attractions along Central Park West, it goes on to say "avoid the horse-drawn carriage because they charge $60 or $70 for a slow, smelly and short ride that is just as fast (and much nicer) to walk. The horse carriages cause major ruts and damage to the road, not to mention all the horse manure that is dropped and smells terrible."

The Ritz Carlton on Central Park South (across from the hack line) is a luxury hotel that charges close to $1,000 for a single room and well over $4,000 for a suite. A review from "The only downside to the hotel's proximity to Central Park is the aroma from the carriage horses, which can be particularly bad during a heat wave. A note to the romantically inclined: Take a carriage ride during the spring or fall. HIGHS: Excellent service, business support, Central Park views. LOWS: Stinky carriage horses, the drab gym."

A review on line of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on CPS: "My husband and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary by staying the weekend at the Ritz and while the suite overlooking the park was perfect and the service impeccable, as we stood in the lobby by the front doors waiting for a limo to take us to dinner, the horse manure smell from the horse & buggy carriages right across the street was a turn off. We couldn't pass the lobby without smelling the stench. ...........We wouldn't stay there again."

AM-NY - Take Care of Carriage Horses
horse pulling carriageAM-NY - June 1, 2007 As the weather heats up, my thoughts turn to concerns for the voiceless New York City carriage horses. Apart from everything else that seems deplorable about this business, I would like to bring attention to one regulation in particular which seems to illustrate the seeming impossibility of operating this industry humanely.

Supposedly, when the temperature reaches 90 degrees (not accounting for humidity levels) the horses are to be driven back to their stables, unharnessed and allowed to be driven back out when the temperature decreases. Their cramped stables are located in various out-of-the-way buildings on the far West Side of Manhattan, as far south as 37th Street. When it reaches 90 degrees, these poor animals are forced to make undoubtedly the worst trip of their day, pulling their carriages through some of the heaviest traffic in the city, between Central Park South and their stables, only to face making the dreaded round trip a second time when they are driven back out. What is the sense in this? -- Catherine Gore, Brooklyn  

"If we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt." -Black Beauty - London, 1877  

Thank you for caring about the horses, Elizabeth Forel - Coalition for NYC Animals, Inc. for the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages