Stop Horse Drawn CarriagesWhy New York City Needs to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and Not Put Them in Central Park
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Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
December 2017

The horse-drawn carriage indutry is cruel, inhumane and dangerous to the horses and the public and must be completely banned. 

It is a Horse's Nature to Spook...

 ...and when they do -- watch out. It does not matter whether they are on the street working in traffic or in Central Park. It is their nature. They are prey animals, often nervous and anxious and anything can set them off. It could be an umbrella opening, a loud noise, rustling leaves. Those advocating to have the horses work in Central Park exclusively either do not understand a horse's real nature or just want a win at all costs. This currently represents NYClass -- but in January 2016, it consisted of most of the big box organizations like Peta, ASPCA, HSUS. Organizations like Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, Friends of Animals, Equine Advocates and Catskill Animal Sanctuary advocated for a ban of the trade ... the right thing to do for the safety of the horses and people.

spooked carriage horse
Spooking accident in Wisconsin... the horse lived.

The picture above was taken of a recent accident in Wisconsin where two horses spooked and bolted, running into traffic. This was a joy ride.

Accident in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

The article reports that eight people were in the carriage driven by two horses. The horses spooked at something - and tore down the street colliding into two cars. One of the horses - pictured above - landed on the hood of the car. The article claims the horses were not injured but they most likely had bruising and internal injuries. The media reported 15 people were injured although none seriously. This is video from another source.

One of the passengers reports: “The driver was about to hop on, I don’t know if she was adjusting something, and they spooked and just took off, but when they hit those cars at the end, they were full sprint,” Smith said. “She was hanging on to the sled for the first half block, getting dragged, trying to hang on to the reins, and she got taken out by a car,” Smith said. “It was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever been through, and then as a dad, having no control over the situation, holding on to my girls, hoping we weren’t going to flip over.”

Horses spook can become unwitting weapons, regardless of where they are. What about that do people who support them working in Central Park not understand!

it is very irresponsible to support horse carriages, which offer rides and exploit people's ignorance. Most people who take these rides do not know that they are engaging in something quite dangerous. Once that powerful animal spooks and bolts, there is no controlling him. These types of horses - mostly large drafts - are huge, weighing between 1,500 to 2,000 pounds. But although large and powerful, they are prey animals and get frightened very easily. When this happens, they can become unwitting weapons and can injure or kill themselves, their passengers or innocent passersby.

A few years ago in Salzburg, Austria, a horse spooked and bolted, running up on the sidewalk where he crashed into a French tourist, trampling and killing her. When a horse spooks, it is very often the fault of the driver whose lack of horse knowledge is a contributing factor. In this case, the driver was not sitting in the box where she could have had control over the horses.

Is it worth it? Many of the passengers foolishly bring their small children on these "joy rides." Seat belts are not the answer either because they would prevent riders from exiting quickly. This was actually a decision made by legislators in Las Vegas when they voted against seat belts because of the inherent danger in horse-drawn carriages. One wonders why they did not vote against horse-drawn carriages in their entirety.

Horse That Have Spooked in Central Park

See this LIST OF ACCIDENTS that have happened in NYC. Central Park is not an idyllic wonderland for horses. It is overcrowded and has been the site of accidents involving carriage horses.

In July, 2011, we learned of a horse who spooked in Central Park, while pulling a family of tourists. They were terrified -- they did not understand what was happening and somehow managed to get out of the carriage. The picture below shows the horse after he fell on the ground. Very upset, the woman had inadvertently left her purse in the carriage and went back to find it. She discovered that the driver was back at the hack line with his horse, putting him back to work. She got in touch with us and explained that she had no idea how cruel and abusive this trade was. She become a ready convert. But it took a close fall for her to learn this.

carriage horse down
Carriage horse down in Central Park

A ban is the only answer - stay in the fight

The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages supports a ban of the industry. It should not exist. It is cruel, inhumane and dangerous to the horses and the public. Laws are mostly not enforced. We know it is a difficult and almost impossible feat in a union city with a Mayor who needs union support and never understood the issue anyway. Because of massive redevelopment in the area of the stables on the far west side of Manhattan, we believe the stable owners will eventually sell their buildings for millions, resulting in many drivers losing their jobs. Zoning will not allow the construction of new stables in Manhattan.

A ban will never happen for the carriage horses if you sell your soul for a quick win. Real activists do not give up. Real activists also read and learn about horses and their needs. Real activists read and learn about legislation. They do not rely on some questionable organizations to tell them what to do.

In January when a new Council is installed, contact your representative by phone and let them know that shutting down the industry is the only humane and safe thing to do.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Bill DeBlasio promise
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