Let’s End Carriage Horse Rides in New York City

Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 1:30pm
NYC Carriage Horse

By ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker

On December 30, then-Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio unequivocally reaffirmed his stance against the use of carriage horses in New York City.

“We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape,” he said. “They are not humane, they are not appropriate for the year 2014. It's over. So, just watch us do it.”

As an organization that’s fought for humane treatment of horses since our founding in 1866, we share the mayor’s philosophy that no economic counter-argument stands up to the sheer ridiculousness of this antiquated tradition. New York simply has a higher standard.

So we’re doing our part by joining the mayor’s call, standing with partners like NYCLASS, and counteracting deep troughs of misinformation with expert veterinary and animal relocation expertise. We stand ready to tap into our network of rescue partners to secure potential homes for the horses— facilities and people willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these animals.

Are there legitimate concerns about lost jobs? Absolutely. We share those concerns and encourage new ideas to address them. But using fear over facts to sway this debate is as irresponsible as suggesting strained carriage horses can be compensated with “vacation time.”

This is a conversation the city needs to have. But it needs to be placed in a context of hard truth, not hyperbolic bias. New Yorkers deserve that. And so do the animals with whom we share the city.

We applaud efforts clearly in motion to take these horses off city streets, pushing both them and New York itself into a more civilized future that need not be feared.

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C Shields

If you read the article you would see that there are plans for the horses to retire to a place they can call home. That is part of the ASPCA's involvement. This is not for progress and to get rid of them. It is to end the abuse that this practice has been. I applaud the Mayor.

Sue B

The ASPCA President/CEO's blog states that the ASPCA is going to relocate these horses into its network of rescue orgs/facilities. I don't think the ASPCA is going to let any of the carriage horses end up in any bad situation.


Did you not read the ASPCA's comment about finding rescue homes for the horses?

Heather Stork

What about the ones they can't find homes for? In a perfect world that would be great and all the horses would get forever homes but in reality, the rescue groups are turning horses away because of lack of space and money for their care. What happens to those animals?

Jill Coletti

then we need to hold fundraisers to raise the money....something that I LOVE to do :)


I am concerned about what will happen to these horses also. A ban should not be imposed if it means these animals will go to the slaughter house. Why can't the horse carriage rides be confined to the park instead of banning altogether.

Andy from Brooklyn

we tried that in the late 80's and early 90's and you see the results ,,they are back on the streets within 2 years in both far as the horses welfare NYCLASS 39 Broadway, Suite 1740, New York, NY 10006 | 212-626-6991 has a placement plan in place with a wealthy benefactor

Mary fellows

I think these hard working openly abused will be adopted faster then you can say "giddy up!"
Just like greyhounds these are seen as animals who deserve so much better and will be on the top of the rescue list nationwide.....

Heather Stork

I truly hope so, for their sake and for our consciences.


you're out of your mind. These horse are certainly not abused and they have owners. It is illegal and unconstitutional for any wacko to confiscate them.