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

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6 June 2007 - Vol. # 33 - SPECIAL EDITION


Did it really happen............?
As we reported in the June 3rd special issue of HORSE SENSE, a carriage horse spooked and broke away from his driver on Saturday, June 2nd, galloped down the street for a few blocks and was hit by an SUV on Seventh Avenue and 56th St. The horse, a young black gelding, new to the streets of NYC, fell to the ground. This issue was not reported by the media and although we tried, no one would pick it up. A woman at the NY Post told us that unless the horse was killed, it was not a story.

In describing the condition of the horse, Steve McNally, the quick thinking passerby who photographed the accident and sent the story to the online blog, Gothamist, said "I can't imagine he was doing all that well. he didn't look good as he limped away. though he did stand up and limp away of his own power, I'd guess adrenaline (the naturally-occurring kind) had a lot to do with that ..."  In response to our question about whether or not he saw the accident, he replied "I didn't see the horse get hit. I was on 55th St., heard him coming from the north down 7th (it was loud), saw him pass with the driver running with him, heard him still as he ran out of my line of sight, heard the crowd gasp, and I heard the hit. when I got to the corner several seconds later, the horse was already crowded around and then standing again."

We have not yet been able to identify the horse or stable. However, a representative of the Department of Health told us that the horse was examined by an equine vet, and although he had inflammation (hello! - he was hit by an SUV!!) he did not sustain injuries and was back to work on Tuesday, June 5th - two days after the accident! Imagine being broadsided by an SUV and being sent back to work in two days.

I know that many of you contacted the Mayor and your Council Member. Thank you. The situation for the horses is never going to change unless all of us make that phone call and keep up the pressure. So if you have not yet done so, please contact your Council Member and the Mayor if you live in NYC. If you live outside of NYC, please contact the Mayor. Click here for Council Member information. Click here to Contact Mayor Bloomberg. Please ask them to pass legislation that would end the carriage horse industry. Tell them that a 2000 pound horse who is out of control is dangerous to himself and to pedestrians. Horse-drawn carriages do not belong in congested NYC. Make reference to the Gothamist story since this did not appear anywhere else.

And by the way - this is the second unreported (by the media) accident we know about. The other, which occurred on April 13th at Grand Army Plaza was reported in a previous issue of HORSE SENSE and involved a horse hit by a taxi. How many other accidents go unreported - and may as well not have happened!

The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages urges the City Council and the Mayor to take action on this issue and pass legislation that would end the dangerous carriage horse industry in New York City. Besides being a humane issue for the horses who live lives of misery, it is a serious safety issue for the public in this traffic congested city.

"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