The Horse Drawn Carriage Conflict in NYC


The subject of banning the horse drawn carriages in NYC has been talked about a lot in some of my comment pages so I thought I would make it an official blog post. This will open the topic to everyone. In addition to opening this topic, I will also give some details on why it is important to get these horses off the streets of NYC.

There are many different reasons why a ban on horse drawn carriages is important. I wont go into every little detail here but I will list some of the important issues on why these horses do not belong in the streets of NY. (If you want more information about this issue feel free to ask me in the comment page on this post or just Google it – there is a ton of information out there from both sides.)

As you may already know, the ASPCA, along with the Humane Society of the United States, PETA, and local advocacy groups, argue that ‘reform’ legislation is not enough. The health hazards posed to horses by traffic, noise, exhaust, and hard concrete, as well as the industry’s proven unwillingness or inability to provide horses with decent living and working conditions, show that there can be no humane alternative to a complete ban on horse-drawn carriages in New York City.

According to a NYC comptroller’s audit of the horse drawn carriage industry found a long list of problems in the carriage industry, from lax veterinary care to infrequent inspections. The audit also found that the horses were not provided with enough water, were at risk of overheating on hot asphalt and were forced to stand in their own waste because of inadequate drainage. Vets even say that ‘Lameness and hoof deterioration are inevitable when a horse spends its life walking or jogging on the unnaturally concussive asphalt of city streets’

The horse drawn carriages also pose a threat to human safety. I have posted at the bottom of this post a short list of incidents involving horses used in carriage operations in New York City since 1999.

What can you do to help the horses in NYC?

If you live in one of the five boroughs of NYC, please ask your Council Member to sign on to Tony Avella’s bill AND contact Council Speaker Christine Quinn who is blocking this bill at City Hall.

Check to see if your Council Member has already signed on to the bill.
If you live outside of NYC, please contact Mayor Michael Bloomberg to let him know what you think of this industry.

Also, If you are in the NYC area and would like to help; please let me know because I will be here in the city working on this issue. (If you do not know how to contact me, please just leave a comment below.)

**September 14, 2007**: A horse who was spooked by a street performer’s drum ran nearly a block along the sidewalk before slamming into a tree and dying. The horse’s panic caused a second horse–who was still attached to a carriage–to dart into traffic and collide with a car. (The horses name was Smoothie)


**July 4, 2007**: A frightened carriage horse bolted away from his driver and collided with a taxi on Central Park S. A motorcyclist abandoned his bike in order to avoid the horse. The cab driver was treated for injuries at the hospital, the horse suffered several gashes on one leg, and the cab sustained significant front-end damage.

**June 2, 2007**: A spooked carriage horse galloped away from his driver and was hit by an SUV in an intersection. When the horse fell, the carriage broke loose, was propelled into the air, and landed on the curb, barely missing pedestrians.
April 13, 2007**: A carriage horse was hit by a taxi at Grand Army Plaza.

**September 14, 2006**: After collapsing in Central Park, Juliet, a horse who was used to pull carriages in NYC for almost two decades, was whipped repeatedly by the carriage driver in an attempt to get her to stand up. A horrified crowd gathered and begged the carriage driver to stop beating her. Juliet was eventually hauled away in a police trailer to her stable, where she died early the next morning.

**May 5, 2006**: A horse pulling a carriage through Manhattan was spooked and ran amok, narrowly missing several vehicles before colliding with and overturning a moving car. The driver of the car was hospitalized and witnesses claimed that the horse sustained a gash near his or her neck.

**April 28, 2006**: A young horse being trained to pull carriages was suddenly spooked and bolted, colliding with a 71-year-old bicyclist in Central Park. The bicyclist had to be hospitalized, and the carriage driver jumped out of the vehicle during the incident, injuring his knee.

Horse Drawn Carriage NYC

**January 2, 2006**: A horse pulling a carriage in Manhattan was suddenly spooked and ran, colliding with an automobile. The horse had to be euthanized because of severe injuries, and the carriage driver was hospitalized in critical condition with a fractured skull.

**May 14, 2005**: Two horses broke free from the carriage that they were pulling after a hit-and-run collusion with a van. The driver was thrown from the rig and landed on his head.
October 25, 2003**: Four people got the “scare of their lives” when a horse pulling a carriage suddenly bolted down the street and barreled into another carriage, causing both rigs to flip over. Four people were treated for injuries.

**January 22, 2002**: A horse pulling a carriage through traffic became frightened and bolted. The carriage got wedged between two cars, damaging them and several others. The horse had to be tranquilized, and it took several people to free the animal and the carriage.

**November 26, 2001**: A taxi cab collided with a horse-drawn carriage in South Central Park, startling the horse and injuring the carriage driver.

**November 2000**: A horse pulling a carriage broke free, bolted, and struck a car while galloping down the street. The horse tripped and fell to the ground, injuring a leg.

**August 27, 2000**: A horse-drawn carriage turning a corner in Central Park tilted past its balance point and suddenly slammed onto its side. Four tourists were strapped to backboards and taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.


**April 26, 2000**: A horse in a carriage-ride stable escaped and ran down the street, creating havoc as drivers slammed on their brakes to avoid hitting the animal. A traffic control officer avoided serious injury by jumping back when the horse was within three feet of her. The horse narrowly missed being hit by a bus.

**August 5, 1999**: A runaway carriage horse jumped onto the sidewalk, injuring two elderly pedestrians and hitting a car.

**June 28, 1999**: A hit-and-run driver crashed into a horse-drawn carriage, breaking the driver’s jaw and sending the horse galloping down the street. The horse was hit by an oncoming car.

**January 8, 1999**: A horse was fatally electrocuted while pulling a carriage.

**1999**: An “out-of-control” horse jumped up on the sidewalk and struck and injured two elderly pedestrians.

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  • tawnya12

    August 2, 2010

    i think that its really sad that people are sooooo stupid… those poor horses… its really good that u r starting this site… people should get it through their heads that horses have been traded for cars… horses these days are for pleasure riding out in the country not city streets!!!! thanks for reading this comment…

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  • Jeremiah15

    January 5, 2010

    Happened again tonight about a block from Columbus Circle. I saw the horse gallop out of control right into a car. Its just as dangerous for the drivers as the horses.

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    January 27, 2009

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  • Jason Bayless17

    November 9, 2008

    What? They were here before cars? You make it sound like this is the natural state of the horse -born to pull carriages through the streets, which we both know is not the purpose of any horse. Second, we can’t give up the car for the horse because there is no way that society would regress and in the current state of cities and automobiles, horses in the streets is unreasonable and irresponsible.

    Lastly, considering that this post was about the horses in NYC and not in the US, posting the figures of how many fatalities caused by automobiles in the US over a years time would not be in context of the post.

  • jack boy uk18

    November 8, 2008

    oh and can you put up how many fatality’s were caused by automobiles and how many by horses in the us over the past year to show comparisons of the numbers please?.

  • jack boy uk19

    November 8, 2008

    why not use the same sistem as they use at sea sali before steam or to put lt lnto a phrase that everyone will understand horse before car they were here before cars and they cause less poloutlon!.

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    June 23, 2008
  • fome21

    May 5, 2008

    let’s hope they ban this in nyc

  • Julia22

    May 5, 2008

    Thank you for posting this. The more people who learn the truth about this industry, the better they will understand why a ban is necessary. Donny Moss gets it right in his new documentary “Blinders.” People need to know the truth behind the tradition. Knowledge is power.

  • Bayless_23

    May 4, 2008

    Additional Information:

    Cities that have already banned Horse Drawn Carriages;

    Kenneth City
    Key West
    Deerfield Beach
    Palm Beach
    Panama City Beach
    Pompano Beach
    Treasure Island


    Las Vegas

    Santa Fe


    Broadway at the Beach

    ENGLAND – London, Oxford

    FRANCE – Paris


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