(Also see Other Cities)

HORSES DO NOT BELONG IN TRAFFIC - Most accidents happen in NYC because the horses spook and bolt.  It is their nature.  It has happened in the streets surrounding Central Park "keeping the horses in the park" and it has happened on the streets going to and from the stable.

ACCIDENTS DOCUMENTED - The accidents we have documented in New York City are based on reports in the media and random eye witness observations.   Although these accidents are often not reported in the media, we have e-mail documentation from eye witnesses, and in some case NYPD reports, to back it up   Drivers are not required to report accidents to the NYPD, Department of Health or anyone else.  To make matters worse, if the NYPD is called to the scene of an accident, the responding officer is not required to file a report.  

INEVITABLE - Because of this, we believe that many more accidents occur that are not publicized.   Horses are prey animals and are easily spooked by anything - a loud noise or even an umbrella opening.  They are predictably unpredictable and at 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, they can become unwitting weapons and can kill or injure themselves or innocent passersby.  

The following is a list of carriage horse accidents/incidents  in NYC.  By its very nature, we believe it to be incomplete.  

June 10, 2014 : – a carriage horse named Pumpkin spooked at the hack line, hitting an open taxi door

Competency and Public Safety in New York City Carriage Trade

Spooked horse Drags Empty Carriage through NYC’s Central Park , /Renews Push for a Ban.

September 26, 2013:  A horse named Chris spooked at Columbus Circle and was pinned under his overturned carriage.  He sustained some scratches.  His driver, Frank Luo of the Manhattan Carriage Co. had  been charged the previous day for operating a carriage for more then 12 hours in a 20- hour period and for overcharging passengers.  

NY Daily News:  Horse Flips out in Midtown Manhattan traffic, carriage breaks, animal gets trapped underneath.

Chris Accident

June 8, 2013 - A driver parked his carriage at an intersection in the West 50s with the carriage and horse extending into the street.  He had dismounted from his carriage to photogreaph his customers while his horse was getting agitated.

June 5, 2013 - a horse spooks and bolts into traffic at 11th Ave.  and 40th St. about 8PM after one of the carriage shafts broks.  He tried to free himself and his leg was cut badly. The traffic police refused to take a statement from the eye witness.

March 23, 2013 - A horse pulling a carriage from Central Park spooked and reared up as he was coming out of the park road.  No one was injured.

January 4, 2013 - A horse pulling carriage #1075 collapsed near Fifth Ave. and 59th St.  after he discharged two passengers.

December 8, 2012 - a horse pulling a carriage with six people got stuck between cars in the mid 50s on the west side of Manhattan.  The horse freaked out and bolted, running two blocks.  The driver jumped off, followed by some of the passengers.  No one was injured.

November 12, 2012:   A 7-year old horse named Henry, who was pulling a carriage in Central Park near Tavern on the Green, hurt his leg after stumbling.  He was pulled from service.  

October 2, 2012 - A carriage horse spooked and bolted on 11th Avenue in the W. 40s.  This was the same area as the accident on Sept. 20th.  The NYPD refused us access to the video produced by  installed street camera, which are in this area.  

September 20, 2012 - A carriage horse spooked and bolted on 11th Avenue in the W. 40s.  

August 16, 2012 - A horse named Oreo spooked on Central Park South as his driver was making an illegal u-turn.  His driver got off the carriage and lost control of the horse as he bolted into traffic, running up on the sidewalk and narrowly missing pedestrians.  The carriage split in two as terrified Oreo  stuck two cars and ran for several blocks before being tranquilized by the NYPD.  He was retired from service.

NY Times:  3 are Injured when Horse Sheds Coach in Manhattan

Youtube video: this covers Oreo and Flash (from 12/4/11)

Oreo Accident

October 23, 2011

June 7, 2012 -- A horse named Doreen sustained a gash on her face after an SUV collided with the carriage she was pulling.  Her head cracked into the car's windshield.  

March 3, 2012 - unnamed horse spooks on 11th Avenue and 52nd St., dragging his empty, overturned carriage into the street.  

February 14, 2012 - a horse falls in Central Park and injures his leg.  He was removed and taken back from the stable.  

December 4, 2011 - a horse named Flash who was pulling a carriage with 4 passengers stumbled and collapsed on the street near the hack line.   Holiday season is the busiest time of the year and it is suspected this horse was overworked. This Youtube video - was taken by the activists from Win Animal Rights who were on the scene.


November 4, 2011 - a horse pulling a carriage collapsed on 60th Street.  He was down for at least 15 minutes.

October 28, 2011 -- a horse, on the hackline on Central Park South near Columbus Circle - and unattended - spooked and bolted.  He ran into traffic turning and crashing into the wall at 7th avenue.  Tourists reported the incident to CBHDC.

October 23, 2011 - a horse named Charlie collapsed and died on
NY Daily News: Carriage Horse Collapses; dies in midtown, Animal rights activists up in arms.


July 25, 2011 - taxi crashes into flimsy carriage, causing serious injuries as driver and passengers were thrown from carriage.  Driver was hospitalized in a coma.

serious injury

End of July, 2011 - horse spooks and falls while pulling tourists in Central Park. Frightened, the jump out of carriage.  Driver makes horse go back to work.


July 16, 2011 - carriage horse spooked and bolted, galloping from Grand Army Plaza/Fifth Ave. - up Central Park South to 7th Ave, hitting a taxi and car on the way.

September 14, 2007 – A carriage horse named Smoothie spooked and bolted while on the hack line. She ran into a tree and died. She was only 12 years old.


A Carriage Horse Dies After Bolting Onto a Sidewalk

July 4, 2007 - A carriage horse spooks on Central Park South and collides with a taxi. The 12 year old horse named Bud suffered several gashes on his rear legs. The cabby is hospitalized. A motorcyclist and his bike are hit with the carriage.

Photo credit: Juan Arellano © 2007

June 2, 2007 - Accident on Seventh Avenue and 56th Street - A young horse spooks on Seventh Avenue and 56th St. and gallops into traffic still attached to his carriage. At 54th St., he is hit by an SUV and falls to the pavement. The Department of Health veterinarian deems him ready to go back to work only two days later.

June 2nd accident

June 2, 2007 accident - 3

June 2nd accident - 2

June 2, 2007 accident

April 13, 2007 - Accident on Central Park South at Grand Army Plaza - A taxi crashed into a carriage; horse was walked back to stable - The ASPCA learned about this through a passerby who reported it to them. It was not reported by the media. We do not know what happened to the horse.

September 16,, 2006 - For Central Park Carriage Horse, Death Arrives Inelegantly - New York Times - By COREY KILGANNON
Please note that the horse who died was first identified as Rusty in the 9/15 issue of the NY Times - then as Juliet on 9/16. Both horses are listed on the Department of Health roles. This is an odd "mistake" - the driver offering up the wrong name. Were there two horses? Was Juliet being double shifted and wearing Rusty's tags? Is anyone investigating?  

May 5, 2006 - Wild West Side Horse Crash - a carriage horse from Shamrock Stable got spooked by loud traffic noises at 46th and 11th Ave., ran wild and crashed into a car while still attached to his cab, which fell on its side. Conflicting information about horse being injured; car's driver was hospitalized. NY Post; API  See photos below:

28 April, 2006 - A spooked horse ran wild in Central Park crashing into a 71 year old bicyclist who was seriously injured and suffered a broken hip.

January 2, 2006 - C. Nance - A most horrific hansom cab accident in midtown Manhattan

3 January 2006 -  HORSE BOLTS & INJURES 3 IN MIDTOWN “A spooked horse bolted on a midtown street ..., ejecting the driver of the carriage..., then galloping straight into a station wagon...” at Ninth Avenue and 50 St.  Three people were hospitalized, one critically.  “The horse was pinned under the car...” and was later euthanized.  Daily News, Jan. 3, 2006, p. 6 (It took the police and fire dept. ½ hour to extricate the horse from under the car.)  Photo above.

Spotty, a five year old gelding from West Side Livery -- only in NYC for a few months -- is shown limping on his left front leg. He is terrified and resistant as he is led away to be euthanized after injuring his leg in this accident.

14 May 2005 -  “FEAR UNBRIDLED; 2 HORSES ASTRAY IN CITY” Two horses galloped through the streets of Manhattan after their carriage was rear-ended by a van. “The carriage flipped over and freed them around 14 St. And Eighth Avenue.”  The horses were later apprehended by the police.  They belonged to Chateau Stables on W. 48 St.  NY Newsday, May 14, 2005, p. A.08

25 October 2003 -  “CARRIAGE RIDES GONE WILD” 4 HURT. At Fifth Avenue and 61 St. a carriage horse “was startled for an unknown reason and reared up, tipping its carriage...  Two female tourists and the carriage driver were dumped out and injured. NY Newsday, Oct. 25, 2003, p. A. 12

22 January 2002 -  “STUCK IN TRAFFIC” – A horse pulling a carriage got spooked and bolted at 10th Ave. and 56th St. His carriage got wedged between two cars and was so unnerved that he needed to be tranquilized. It took several people to free him. A few cars were damaged.

26 November 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 – November 26, 2001

9 November 2000 - “HORSE MAKES IMPRESSION”  After leaving the carriage the horse stomped on a number of vehicles stuck in traffic...”  Chelsea Clinton News, The Blotter,  Nov. 9-15, 2000.

2 November 2000 - “HANSOM HORSE’S TALE OF WHOA” “A horse broke free from its carriage yesterday at Columbus Circle and hit at least one car as it galloped to Broadway - stopping morning traffic as people watched in horror.  The horse went about half-a-block before the harness broke, entangling the animal and tripping him...  The horse fell and slid down the street....; I started to cry...”  Maria Alvarez,   NY Post, Nov. 2, 2000, p.

5 September 2000 - “CARRIAGE HORSE ESCAPES DRAFT” “A runaway carriage horse broke free from its owner” “at W. 59 St. And Central Park South” and “ ran headlong through the streets of Manhattan yesterday...”  “...Cops moved pedestrians and drivers out of [the horse’s] path until they blocked [his] escape at W. 72nd St. And Central Park West.”   NY Daily News, Sept. 5, 2000, p. 17

28 August 2000 -  “BUGGY TUMBLES TOSSES TOURISTS” A carriage horse bucked in Central Park, tipping over the carriage and injuring a family of 4 tourists 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.  “Thank God no one was killed,” said the driver.  NY Daily News, Aug. 28, 2000  p. 22

28 August 2000 -  “BUGGY TUMBLES TOSSES TOURISTS” A carriage horse bucked in Central Park, tipping over the carriage and injuring a family of 4 tourists 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.  “Thank God no one was killed,” said the driver.  NY Daily News, Aug. 28, 2000  p. 22

27 April 2000 - “BRONCO GOES BONKERS ON AVENUE” A carriage horse “broke lose from his midtown stable..”  “Narrowly missing being hit by a bus” he turned onto Tenth Ave, running a red light  “and creating havoc as drivers slammed on their brakes to avoid hitting him.” He headed for a traffic agent who had her back to him. Approximately 1000 lbs. was galloping towards her.  “If I had stood there for another second, he would have killed me,” she said.  NY Daily News,  April 27, 2000,  p. 7

August 1999 -  “BOLTING CARRIAGE HORSE HURTS 2" A runaway horse and carriage struck a car and jumped the sidewalk,  where it knocked down a 70 year old man and a 68 year old woman at Ninth Avenue and 51 St.  “The woman ... was pinned under one of the horse’s rear hooves,” and was treated for minor injuries.  “The man will have to have his hip replaced because of the fall ... .”  NY Post, Aug. 6, 1999, p. 12

1 July 1999 -“CARRIAGE HIT The carriage struck two parked cars before the horse galloped into another car.” Chelsea Clinton News, July 1-7, 1999

28 June 1999 -  “HORSE BUGGY DRIVER HURT IN HIT-RUN” At Central Park West and 69 St. a hit-and-run driver smacked into the cab of a horse-drawn carriage 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. ”   N Y Daily News, June 28, 1999,  p. 12  

21 June 1999 - “A HERO AND TWO HORSES A horse pulling a hansom cab was startled and threw his driver on Central Park West and 67 St.  “A second hansom cab driver ...tried to stop the runaway horse...” but failed.   “... Horse No. 1 got stuck between a parked car and a yellow cab, which hit the horse...” Unfortunately the yellow cab driver was injured and hospitalized. He was in stable condition with head and neck injuries...” “The second cab driver also sustained minor injuries...” NY Newsday, June 21, 1999,  p. A.15

9 January 1999 - “CARRIAGE HORSE IS ELECTROCUTED ON STREET” Jackie, a 7-year-old carriage horse collapsed and died after she stepped on a steel Con Edison service box cover on E. 59 St.  The wet weather, a short circuit and  “‘the fact that the horse was wearing metal shoes made a tremendous difference,’” said a  Con Ed worker.  NY Times, Jan. 9, 1999.  p. 3

29 April 1998 -  “RUNAWAY HORSE KILLED BY VAN” 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 – NYPost – April 29, 1998

13 January 1998 - “CARRIAGE RIDE TURNS INTO BRONCO BUST” “A runaway horse and buggy sent scores of Times Square strollers fleeing for their lives...”  Two tourists  “...jumped from the careening carriage before it flipped into a pole and broke apart at Seventh Ave. And 42nd St.”  The horse “was headed toward a hotel entrance when the carriage flipped.” “The tourists were taken to the hospital...” NYDaily News,  Jan. 13 , 1998, p. 8

24 November 1997 -  “TOURIST RUN OVER BY HORSE” “A runaway horse took its carriage for a wild ride along Central Park South yesterday afternoon, running over a tourist.”  She “was knocked to the ground and dragged for a few feet after the horse bounded onto the sidewalk and plowed into her...”  “The horse...began its rampage near Columbus Circle.  Its first victim was a... Ford parked along Central Park South.”  “...The driver of the carriage... allegedly took off - with the horse,” but was later apprehended by the police.  NY Daily News, Nov. 24, 1997.

4 September 1997 - An elderly woman was seriously injured and eight other people hurt when two carriages overturned after the horses were spooked by a passing car. September 4, 1997

1 May 1997 - “ HANSOM HORSE DIES IN HARNESS” – a horse pulling a hansom cab on 49th St. between Seventh and Eighth Avenues tripped, then died as he struggled to get up. NY Post p.26 - May 1, 1997

September 2, 1996 - “HANSOM-CAB HORSE DIES ON STREET” “...The crowd gathered outside the Hotel St. Moritz on 59 St. Saturday night confronted a sight more horrific than romantic: A 10 to 12-year old gelding ...collapsed face first onto the street and died.”   NY Newsday, Sept. 2, 1996,  p. A 16

7 May 1994 - Picture of injured or dead carriage horse on NYC TV station – (courtesy of Carriage Horse Action Committee) – May 7, 1994

21 April 1994 - “END OF THE ROAD” – A dietary error led to cramps so severe that a horse had to be euthanized after collapsing in Central Park. Midtown Resident – April 21, 1994

26 August 1991 -  “DEATH OF CARRIAGE HORSE PROBED SAME OWNER HAD ONE DIE 2 WEEKS AGO” Both horses may have died of colic.   Newsday, Aug. 26, 1991, p. 3

Mane Event Near Zoo - Carriage Horse Treated, Killed, Left for Sanit Men - New York Times - Aug. 26, 1991    
"Strollers found the carcass of a carriage horse near the entrance to the Central Park zoo" ... "had been euthanized by a veterinarian ... after developed crippling leg pain." Left overnight in the park, the horse was later dumped in a landfill in Long Island. His name was Nickels.

15 May 1990 - A horse pulling a carriage was fatally injured when he was trapped between a bus and a car. May 15, 1990

May 15 1990 - Accident Diagram

16 August 1988 -  “WHITEY IN THE PINK”   Whitey, an 8 year old carriage horse who had collapsed from heat stroke a few days earlier was on the road to recovery ...”  Newsday Aug.16, 1988, p. 3

16 August 1988 -  “ANOTHER HORSE WHO COLLAPSED FROM HUMID HEAT DIED”  Misty, “another carriage horse who collapsed two weekends ago, ...died, and her body was dragged across 12th Avenue to be dumped at the city sanitation pier...”  “ASPCA agents are trying to find Misty’s owner and driver who they say may have violated city ordinances.  Not since 1982, when three horses died, has life been so grim for the 200 licensed carriage horses, ASPCA agents say.  They’re lobbying the Koch administration for the strongest possible reforms.”  Newsday Aug.16, 1988, p. 3

16 August 1988 -  3 HORSES DIED IN ONE YEAR   1982 was a particularly bad year for carriage horses.   Newsday, Aug. 16, 1988, 1988, p. 3

August 15, 1988 -  “TOO HOT TO TROT A HORSE”  An 8 year old horse name Whitey collapsed in 90 degree heat at 62nd St. And 2nd Avenue in “hot, steamy weather.”  Newsday, Aug. 15, 1988, p. 3  (The law still permits carriage horses to work in 90 degree temperature with no regard for the humidity.)
(To enlarge photo, click on photo or link)

23 May 1988 - “LOST HIS STEP” - A horse pulling a carriage fell into a manhole in NYC. San Antonio paper, May 23, 1988

9 November 1986 - Frightened by a passing car, a horse took off down the street, crashing into a building. November 9, 1986

9 December 1985 -   “HORSE BOLTS, HITS CAR”  Four female tourists were injured as they were knocked out of their carriage when it was sideswiped in traffic and the spooked horse bolted down the block and jumped onto the hood of a car, smashing the windshield at Rockefeller Center.  The horse fell beneath the car, broke its leg and was euthanized. The horse was owned by Chateau Stables on W. 48 St., where it was said that horse “had a quiet disposition that you can train.  We used him to train ther horses.”  ”  NY  Newsday, Dec. 9, 1985, p. 2

December 9, 1985   ANOTHER RUNAWAY CARRIAGE HORSE  “Minutes later, another carriage horse broke loose from its handler at 48 St. And Broadway and galloped toward its stable” before it was corralled by police at 12 Avenue and 48 St.  “Carriage drivers said yesterday that the holidays are a particularly dangerous time as cars and carriages attempt to co-exist on congested streets.”  ”  NY  Newsday, Dec. 9, 1985, p. 2

January 2, 1983 - 13 HURT AS FRIGHTENED HORSE HITS RUNNERS IN PARK “Thirteen runners were injured and dozens of others knocked down when a carriage horse frightened by New Year’s Eve fireworks galloped headlong into the tightly packed...” crowd.  While some runners tried to dodge the flying hooves and the carriage wheels, “others tripped over those who had been knocked down.  “It was a nightmare,” “People were screaming,”  said a young woman from her hospital bed after being trampled and run over by a carriage wheel.  She suffered a broken rib, bruised rib cage, injured thigh and shin.  Other injuries included a knee injury, broken bones, “and at least one...concussion.”  NY Times, Metropolitan Desk, Jan. 2, 1983

Coalition To Ban
Horse-Drawn Carriages

A Committee of the Coalition For New York City Animals, Inc.

The Coalition for
NYC Animals, Inc.

P.O. Box 20247
Park West Station
New York, NY 10025


In memory of
Rescued former Boston carriage horse R.I.P. July 20, 2013

To honor
Bobby II Freedom
former NYC carriage horse previously known as Billy ID# 2873 rescued by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and Equine Advocates on June 25, 2010 from the New Holland auctions.

In memory of
Lilly Rose O'Reilly
former NYC carriage horse previously known as Dada ID# 2711 R.I.P.August, 2007