On Thursday, September 26, 2013, a horse-drawn carriage driver heading up Eighth Avenue towards Columbus Circle Thursday morning lost control of his animal and flipped over sideways in the middle of traffic. The horse Chris, was taken back to Clinton Park Stables on W. 52nd St., where a vet examined him.
The accident came a day after the Department of Consumer Affairs accused Frank Luo, owner of Manhattan Carriage Co., of overcharging. Luo, 43, a licensed carriage driver since 1996, was also charged with operating a carriage for more than 12 hours in a 20-hour period, officials said. Read more here and here.
This was not the only injured horse in the last years. A horse was injured when its carriage collided with an SUV and a motorcycle near Columbus Circle in June, 2012. Two months later, a spooked horse bolted from its carriage into traffic where it sustained some injuries and the horse-drawn carriage’s two passengers and its driver were injured. They were treated at local hospitals.
In 2012, a six-year-old carriage horse named Oreo was spooked by a horn, broke free from his carriage and tore through dangerous NYC traffic for four blocks before being tranquilized and collapsing in front of horrified onlookers.
Animal right advocates want the horse-drawn carriages to be banned in “The Capital of the World”.
Mayor Bloomberg and Council Speaker and ex NYC mayoral candidate Christine Quinn disagree.
Two of the New York City mayoral candidates agree, the horse-drawn carriages should be banned in NYC.
Republican Joe Lhota said the carriages should be motorized. “People who come to New York who want the romantic ride through the park … will still be able to do it in the same carriage, just without a horse.”
“I have said for months and months and months that I believe we have to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City,” said Democrat Bill de Blasio.
Bill told Christina, a horse-drawn carriage driver, “I believe that the existence of the horse-carriage industry in this city is no longer appropriate. I don’t think it’s fair to animals. I don’t think it’s something necessary for this city. I think there is a good viable alternative, which is to have replica antique cars with electric motors that are clean and will provide tourists with a good experience and will provide the same people who now have horse carriages with an employment opportunity. So I do care deeply about making sure there are jobs for working people. … They’ll just be different and they’ll be more humane.”
Do you agree with them? Sign this petition by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages: “Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages in New York City – NYS bill needs support”.
Friends of Animals, say on its website “Never take a horse-drawn carriage ride in New York City or anywhere, and tell your friend and family to boycott industries that exploit animals as “entertainment.” Take a human-powered pedicab ride instead if you’re visiting New York City and want a tour of Central Park. New Yorkers can contact their state and local officials and urge them to support the ban on New York City’s horse-drawn carriage industry.”