NYC Carriage Horse Flips in Busy Street!

Friday, September 27, 2013 - 4:30pm
NYC Carriage Horse Flips in Busy Street!

It happened again: Yesterday a terrified carriage horse bolted down a busy New York City street, flipped over and was pinned to the ground. As traffic ground to a halt, rescue workers and good Samaritans labored to free the equine from under the wrecked carriage and prevent further suffering.

This is unacceptable. Carriage horses were never meant to live and work in today’s urban settings. From congested city streets to startling noises, New York City is a nightmare for these animals—and current City laws do not afford working horses adequate protection to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

"How many horses and people must be hurt before New York City wakes up and realizes we are in the 21st century?" asks Michelle Villagomez, ASPCA New York City Legislative Director. "Let’s change with the times and push for a safe, humane alternative."

Take Action!
Your help is urgently needed to protect our city's working carriage horses. The ASPCA has been working hard to pass legislation that would take the burden off these horses and create a more humane attraction for tourists. If you live in New York City please urge your councilmember to support and cosponsor Intro. 86A, legislation that would phase out horse-drawn carriages in New York City, replacing them with vintage electric cars. Yesterday’s accident is only the latest reminder that the time has come to get these sensitive animals off our streets.

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Lynnwood Farms

Isn't the ASPCA the same organization that attempted to get the Vet on their staff to release false statements regarding the death and necropsy results of Carriage horse Charlie in 2011?

Just how is it that an organization that is so clearly biased concerning their opinion of the carriage horses is also their overseeing agency ?
hoc foetet


Car's drivers in NY are crazy, but nobody don't want stopped them.


I grew up in NYC, never road one, I always told them I have my own legs, I can walk. I was just thinking about them cause the last time I was there they looked so malnourished, as now I'm volunteering at a rescue barn and knowing there is a way to help them, I want to make this happen.


I am a fan of the carriage horses in NYC and so is Buck Brannaman, intertnationally respected Natural Horsemanship trainer.

Buck Brannaman on the NYC carriage horses:

Next on my schedule were a couple of young women from MTV and Rolling Stone magazine. One of them asked, “What about those poor horses in Central Park? Don’t you think it’s awful how they have to pull those heavy carriages all day?”

I had an answer for that question “No, I don’t,” I said, then explained that the Central Park horses are content. Pulling carriages on rubber-rimmed wheels on paved streets is a low-stress job, and the horses are calm and relaxed, not anxiously laying their ears back or wringing their tails. Plus, these horses get lots of attention and affection from passerby. And horses love attention and affection as much as we do.

The horses that people should be concerned about are the neglected ones that, after the “newness” of ownership wears off, live in box stalls all day. These horses have no purpose, no jobs to do. All they do is eat and make manure. Even prisoners get to exercise more than these horses, and the horses have never done anything wrong. If they had the choice, these horses would choose to be carriage horses rather than stand in their stalls.

Buck Brannaman, The Faraway Horses, page 251.


I think it is so sad that we all find ASPCA to be a knowledgeable and reputable advocate for animals and here they are spouting off an article where they prove to not even know what they do. They themselves regulate the care and well being of NYC carriage horses and in the article they say they are pushing for a humane alternative? Does this mean they don't do their job already in making sure that the horses are being cared for appropriately? These horses are not burdened by the work that they do. If they are- why are pedicabs permitted? I would think that pulling people around the city would be harder on humans but no one fights for the poor pedicab driver. Why? Because the heat & cold are 90% of the time tolerable, because the air quality is also tolerable. The pedicab is smaller- so if cars can't see a horse carriage certainly they won't notice a pedicab. I say if you advocate for the removal of horse carriages then do the right thing and eliminate pedicabs too.


Your headline is also misleading. The horse did not flip. The horse was walked back to the stable since he did not incur an injury.

ariana christianson

i wish i had a horse. i wish i had a ranch.

Sandra McKenna

I do, too Ariana. I'll bet there is a large percentage of us who wish the same thing, too. I know I do. And I love the opportunity to indulge in a horse and carriage. I read years ago about the care, treatment and housing of these horses, information that delighted me and made want to rush up for a carriage ride. Unfortunately, I don't get out as much as I used to, but I'd hate to see the horse and carriage trade disappear. I don't know New York well, but isn't it possible to design a series of routes that would be able to avoid areas that pose infernal engine threats to these beautiful animals? Are specific lanes designated as horse lanes--no infernal engines, bicycles, runners, or other dratted things from the present. When I think of what we have required of horses over the millennia of empire building and other stupid endeavors, it just makes my teeth hurt. Take care of these animals and be grateful they're still willing to have something to do with us.


What if they were limited to Central Park and not out on the roads with all the traffic? That way people could still enjoy the carriage rides.

Robert D Smith

what about using them in Central Park only