New York ASPCA Faces Conflict of Interest Allegations and Increased Scrutiny After Carriage Horse Death

By Steven Long, Editor, Horseback Magazine

Photo of Stephen Malone and his horse Clancy courtesy HCANY

Opposition Brings Small Rally to Steps of NY City Hall

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – One of the most respected and powerful animal welfare organizations in

the nation could come under scrutiny if allegations made by a New York City trade organization, and the husband of one of its own employees, are true. What’s more, the CEO of the organization is certain to face a swirl

of controversy if what the Horse and Carriage Association of New York claims is a seedy attempt to secure valuable Manhattan real estate under the guise of animal welfare.

“A massive story is here,” Stephen Malone, spokesman for the carriage trade group told Horseback Online.

The potential scandal began to emerge after a carriage horse named Charlie dropped dead on a New York street. The horse succumbed after several earlier incidents involving wrecks between horses and automobiles, run away carriages, and the continuing allegation that

the carriage drivers operate in stifling summer heat. Charlie died after working only 20 days as a carriage horse.

He had earlier been given a clean bill of health in a veterinary examination prior to going to work pulling a carriage in New York’s Central Park. The horses are confined to the park during the day and only hit Manhattan’s streets at night and when they are coming to and from work. At the time of his death, the ASPCA’s chief vet quickly made a statement to the press.

“We are very concerned that Charlie was forced to work in spite of painful maladies like stomach ulcers,” she said.

Shortly after the comment, Dr.

Pamela Corey modified her statement saying, “There was no evidence of cruelty or neglect,” Corey continued. “I was under a lot of pressure during the writing of that press release.”

Corey was immediately suspended by the ASPCA for not following the non-profit organization’s alleged standing order that the NYC carriage companies were to be cut no slack in communication with the media.

According to HCANY spokesman Malone, the pressure came not because of ASPCA’s commitment to animal welfare, but instead, came directly from the top because its director Ed Sayers is also Co-President of New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets (NY Class), an activist group attempting to shut down the carriage companies. The group’s founder, Steve Nislick, is CEO of Edison Properties, a Newark based real estate firm that operates parking garages.

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, “Edison Properties, LLC operates as a real estate manager and developer. It owns and operates parking facilities in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland; mini storage stores in New York; and workspace and office buildings. The company was founded in 1956 and is based in Newark, New Jersey.”

Nislick’s business owns more than 40 parking facilities around New York, New Jersey, and Baltimore, according to the Edison Properties website which also promotes storage facilities and office space.

Malone charges that Sayers, the half million a year ASPCA CEO has a conflict of interest linking his name and that of ASPCA because the carriage organization claims Nislick and his company covet the valuable stable properties where NYC carriage horses are housed.

It is no stretch to see how a stable housing 1,500 pound draft horses could easily be converted to a parking garage or storage facility. Four such stables serve Manhattan. A fifth closed its doors last year.

“We’re dealing with a powerful real estate mogul and the ASPCA,” Malone charges.

Malone, a driver and owner/operator carries on in the tradition of his father who founded the carriage firm in 1964. By 1987, Stephen was driving with his dad. Their horses, primarily Percheron/Belgian/Standardbred mixes are six of 215 carriage horses registered in New York City to operators of 68 licensed carriages.

Malone’s horses are among 76 that board at Clinton Park Stables, about 10 blocks from their stand at Central Park South. The building has been a horse stable on and off since the 1920s. Malone operates his carriages during the day, and 90 percent of his rides are in the serene atmosphere of the park. The horses operate under strict guidelines set by the NYC carriage ordinance. The carriage horse association has released a video showing well maintained stalls to house the horses.

Virtually all of Malones’ business is “walk up,” visitors to the city who want to take a romantic carriage ride.

Malone’s carriages operate year round but are strictly limited by a city ordinance governing permissible weather conditions.

“We cannot operate when the temperature is over 89 degrees in summer and below 18 degrees in winter,” Malone told Horseback Online. “Last year we lost 17 days due to heat, and 25 days due to rain. And the ASPCA is the one who (according to law) takes the temperature.”

Race horses in Houston and throughout the south routinely run in temperatures approaching 100 degrees or even more making the NYC cut off point of 89 degrees look downright balmy.

“We’re not dealing with horse people,” Malone laughs.

He says allegations of animal cruelty because horses are working in excessive heat are far off the mark. In fact, Malone says ASPCA holds the thermometer and orders work to stop when the heat goes over 89 degrees.

Two years ago the carriage company owner says his horses were idle for more than 50 days due to excessive heat in compliance with the ordinance, and that doesn’t count days off due to rain and cold.

Veterinarians say a healthy horse is at his happiest when it is uncomfortably cold for humans.

In a November 10, 2011 statement distributed at a hastily called press conference, the Carriage Association blasted the organization that holds a life or death grip on their existence saying: “The ASPCA, as a private agency which has a stated goal of banning the carriage business in NYC, has police powers granted by the State, which are wielded to enforce local administrative code, city, and state laws as pertain to our industry, with no apparent oversight.”

The trade association continued, blasting ASPCA’s suspension of their head vet responsible for enforcement.

“In addition to this long-standing, blatant conflict of interest, the possible deliberate obfuscation of the facts suggested by Dr. Corey’s statement is extremely troubling to us,” the group said.

One horse person the carriage companies have been able to count on as an ally is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose daughter Georgina is an avid equestrienne. He has consistently supported the carriages because they are a boon to New York’s tourism industry and are a symbol of the city, seen in countless films and travelogues.

“If anyone wants to destroy something that is part of New York’s heritage and that tourists love,” Bloomberg told the New York Post, “you should remind those people that. we pay municipal employees with money pumped in by visitors who delight in carriage rides.”

The horses that pull Gotham’s carriages are service animals with a job, but like other blue collar employees they are required to have time off. New York’s carriage horses are mandated to have five weeks vacation in the country each year.

The carriage trade’s most outspoken critics are animal welfare advocates and activists. Among complaints that the horses work in inhumane conditions is the persistent criticism that when a horse is retired from its carriage duty, it is often auctioned for slaughter. The ASPCA, like virtually all other animal welfare organizations is adamantly opposed to the killing of horses for food to service foreign markets. Horse meat is not eaten in the United States.

Nitlick and Sayers organization, NY Class, does not address the slaughter issue. Instead it is focused on getting carriages off New York’s streets. It would replace the elegant carriages with vintage electric cars, an idea which some call just plain silly, and a sop to environmentalists bent on reducing air pollution. They will present a prototype of the vehicle at a hotel bar happy hour Monday.

Corey has declined further statements regarding her relationship with the ASPCA. Her husband, Mike Larsson, a New York livestock inspector has not. Malone released a blistering letter written to The Horse, an equine health publication to Horseback Online in which he wrote:

“Dr Corey has been placed in the untenable position of being in charge of equine law enforcement – an objective non-political task, and yet, her communications on carriage horse issues are funneled through the ASPCA media department, who have the objective of painting the carriage horse industry in the worst manner. The ASPCA is campaigning to ban the industry as an “animal rights” campaign, yet is charged by New York State to carry out law enforcement over the industry they wish to destroy!

Dr. Corey freely admitted to signing off on the original press statement about the carriage horse Charlie’s death, which she now views as a personal mistake as the result of employer pressure. She later released, on her own authority as the Director of Equine Humane law Enforcement, a corrected media statement.”

Corey was then promptly suspended by her employer, ASPCA.

A statement by ASPCA immediately after Charlie’s death left little doubt that the organization plans to drive New York’s carriages from the city’s streets, including Central Park. Stacy Wolf, Vice President & Chief Legal Counsel of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement said, “The life of a carriage horse on New York City streets is extremely difficult and life threatening and the ASPCA has long believed that carriage horses were never meant to live and work in today’s urban setting.”

The Monday NY Class event is a volunteer recruitment session dubbed “Raise a Glass for Charlie.”

169 comments for “New York ASPCA Faces Conflict of Interest Allegations and Increased Scrutiny After Carriage Horse Death

  1. abby house
    November 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Healthy horses do not drop dead all the time – what are you talking about. It’s no wonder that NYC has so many carriage regulations.

    Here’s my advice to all you carriage operators: update your resumes and apply to drive one of those electric cars. It’s just a matter of time.

  2. abby house
    November 17, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Here’s what’s missing from your article.

    Dr Corey is threatening to say “a lot more” if she doesn’t get her job back – uh ha so cat’s got your tongue or are you threatening ASPCA.

    Dr Corey was under pressure to lie – uh ha so tell us what the pressure was or has the cat got your tongue again.

    The Teamsters are “helping” the carriage operators and are demanding Corey be reinstated – uh ha so the Teamsters have never threatened anyone have they and Corey hasn’t been dismissed yet.

    Charlie had severe ulcers and a broken tooth – uh ha I know that I ride my horses all the time when they’re sick – NOT.

    • admin
      November 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      Sorry, we’re told an enormous percentage of horses have ulcers and their owners never know it. Forthermore, if you check with an equine dentist, you’ll learn tht horses don’t have feeling in their teeth. That is why they aren’t sedated when a dentist or vet floats them.

      The Editor

      • abby house
        November 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm

        What! I’m sorry that’s ridiculous. Horses certainly have feeling in their teeth – nerve endings etc. You should check out your facts more carefully. If a vet must remove a tooth because it is broken they sedate and give a local anesthetic to remove it. Good Lord. Removing a tooth is a huge job the roots are very VERY long. Furthermore, I don’t know a single vet that doesn’t sedate to give a powerfloat – sheesh.

        There is a huge difference between ulcers and severe ulcers. Competition horses that have ulcers are either medicated or retired. Again fact checking – I’m surprised that you’re the editor.

        • admin
          November 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm

          Editor’s note: We said nothing about gums or roots. We also didn’t distinguish between a mild or severe ulcer, particularly since we haven’t seen the final necropsy on Charlie. We simply said horses drop dead every day and nothing more should be read into that statement, even by anti carriage horse zealots.

          • November 22, 2011 at 1:38 am

            One of my favorite stories by James Herriot (also my favorite author)was one where he wrote about being called out to see two old, retired horses, “awd pensioners” as the owner called them. One of the horses had been dropping weight, and upon examination, it was found that one of his molars had grown grotesquely long, making it painful to chew. Herriot describes in colorful detail the strange toll he used, which tightened around the tooth by a crank until the overgrown portion was snapped off. He then describes the fairly non-existent reaction of the jaded old guy, who then moved on with his day as though nothing had happened.

  3. Joe
    November 16, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Vicki and Ms. Verret

    I want to set the record straight about my comment about a horses head being down.

    Shelly said: because they (HORSES) STAND around waiting for a ride with their heads down asleep.. I responded that this is the way they sleep, even in the pasture….

    Vicki, you respond to me on Nov. 15 12:39 am ( I wasn’t aware that horses were asleep when they were pulling carriages in the street. I suggest to you that you READ the article and then make your comments accurate to what I and others say in our posts..

    I want to use your quote for myself ( MUST YOU ALWAYS TWIST MY WORDS?? ….)

    Ms. Verret I would like to check everything you say, and no I am not calling you a liar.. I only question what you say because most of the time it is not accurate.

    You post on Nov.15 at 2:58 you go on to say ( I know what shoes equines in the urban enviornments use… Metal shoes to hold the rubber grips, ect.

    Here is what they use including Disney World. These shoes absorb the shock from the hard pavement and hot surface. You always talk as you know everything, (how about gray horses) Posted below is the shoes that these humane people use in the carriage business including these cities when the put in RUBBER shoes… Get your facts right!! They do not install rubber chalks, we put steel studs in our shoes when we had to feed livestock when it was icy. Again so much that you only think you know..

    Editor thanks for the space and do more carriage articles. As you have pointed out there are far too many people trying to show that this business is in humane and dangerous and want to stop it. Joe

    • D, Verret
      November 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      I NEVER commented on “head to butt” or head down on this thread.

      Once again, either you cannot comprehend or are a deliberate twister of the topic, subjects related to same.

      Greys go to slaughter all the time. Urban equines have special shoes; many have rubber insoles. Even Eva Hughes confirmed this when the question of asphalt temps came up and I agreed, to refute the editor/admin. And I don’t give a poop about Disney World, except that they don’t retire their equines properly and it has nothing to do with NYC equine cabbies.

      You can put caulks (sp?) for footing on any equine traversing multiple terrain surfaces; some built in and some screw in.

      You don’t know what you are posting.

      P.s. rubber inserts have grips/grips/calks formed into the rubber for mounted units. And now we have shoes glued that don’t include metal (although most always as a grip/holder of metal for the composite). You don’t know what you are talking about….again.

  4. D, Verret
    November 15, 2011 at 3:08 am

    OK…why are my reply posts not replying to the post I’m replying to?

    Mr/Ms Editor/admin?

  5. Ellen-Cathryn Nash
    November 15, 2011 at 1:26 am

    It is a well known fact that the ASPCA outsources the killing of the dogs and cats. It has been going on for years and their warm and fuzzy pleas to help the animals are pulling the wool over the public’s eyes. My concern is with the horses and they should live in the park and never, ever leave.

  6. abby house
    November 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    The video of how well the horses are housed is not very compelling. It doesn’t differ from the other videos I’ve seen. I still think this housing is very bad. For example, the camera shows fans on the ceiling but I hate to inform you that circulating stale air still equals stale air. It must be horrible in there, the stench, and the rodents – yuck. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere near that.

    I find it quite entertaining that Malone can make such allegations against the CEO of ASPCA without any proof whatsoever. His comments even make it into the media stream. I don’t think any animal activist would even get comments printed without video evidence. Sounds very fair to me.

    • November 15, 2011 at 2:29 am

      Abby – a delegation from the New York State Horse Council took a long tour of our stables, and was very impressed with our ventilation system, and relay of misters that we use in hot weather. And we have windows, windows, windows – most open year round. As for rodents, we have no severe problems, and employ rodent control, like every other barn.

      • D, Verret
        November 15, 2011 at 2:35 am

        Is the NYS Horse Council affiliated with the American Horse Council? If so, you got a problem. I’ll expand if you confirm NYS Horse Council affiliation.

        • November 15, 2011 at 4:59 am

          I don’t have any problem, either with the NYSHC supporting us, or us supporting the NYSHC, and know with certainty that any “expanding” you might do will bring no illumination or change in my outlook.

          • D, Verret
            November 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

            That was a long and wordy way of not answering the question.

            And it does matter…to the equines anyway.

            Glad to know you have an open mind.

  7. Olivia
    November 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    My two cents is that no one with the legal responsibility to do so is truly looking out for the welfare — including the feelings — of the carriage horses. Not the Mayor of New York City. Not City Council. Not the various regulatory departments of NYC. Not the “owners” of the horses. Not the drivers. And most certainly not the CEO of the ASPCA.

    That would make me “radical” and “extreme.” I accept those labels. I believe that those whose sole desire is to defend the horses — those who have no axe to grind or profit to be made or powerful position to maintain — are radically right and extremely just. They do not tolerate hypocrisy or greed, no matter who it is that possesses those sad human failings. They no more trust the motives and actions of the ASPCA leadership (and the employees who act upon their leadership’s bidding) than they trust the motives and actions of those who “use” the horses for their own gain.

    A recent essay about the ASPCA, in reference to the shabby way it treats dogs (and the rescue groups who try to save the dogs from being killed by the ASPCA) can be found here:

    What I’m saying is, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Sayres is found to have a conflict of interest regarding the carriage horses. He already does with the innocent dogs who are killed under his watch, upon his orders if not with his blessing.

    • D, Verret
      November 15, 2011 at 2:33 am

      This discussion isn’t about “no kill” shelters for dogs and cats.

      In addition, death comes to all living things in this world. The issue is when and why. Dogs and cats with terminal conditions need to be put down, humanely….as do equines. It is not the debate here.

      • Olivia
        November 15, 2011 at 11:08 am

        The point isn’t what species the animal is, but what level of integrity — of lack thereof — the organization and its “boss” have. When I am deciding whether to trust the ASPCA’s motives and words, I am looking at the WHOLE body of their decisions and actions. If I smell smoke with the dogs and cats, I can count on there being fire with the horses.

        The dogs and cats of which Nathan speaks do NOT have terminal conditions. ASPCA management, however, seems to have a terminal case of hypocrisy, corruption, greed and arrogance.

        • D, Verret
          November 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm

          I don’t agree with you, but you are entitled to your opinion. And if you don’t like ASPCA or any animal nonprofit, don’t donate.

          I don’t recall ASPCA saying they were a “no kill” shelter. And I think you must be totally outraged that tax dollars are spent by gov’t entities that euth in the millions of animals yearly.

          • admin
            November 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm

            Horseback has long been a huge supporter of our local ASPCA here in Houston even though they perform euthanasia. Sadly, there is no alternative in a community of almost 4 million people, many of whom are irresponsible about dogs and cats. It is unrealistic to suggest there is an alternative. There isn’t. That said, we do our party by adopting horses and dogs from our local ASPCA shelter. In fact, we have appeared on animal cops Houston with a magnificent Paint horse we adopted and named Facade who had been terribly abused but who had the will to live. While the situation in New York City is fluid, we will follow the story with the full knowledge they do fabulous work despite their clear cut bias against the carriagee trade.

            The Editor

          • admin
            November 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm

            And please forgive our typos.

          • Olivia
            November 16, 2011 at 5:06 am

            I volunteered at the Houston SPCA barn with the rescued horses for several years, and knew several of the horses that appeared on the early episodes of Animal Cops. My dogs’ names are also on bricks out in front of the building. How great that you adopted Facade, Steve. He sounds wonderful!

            The ASPCA in NYC is a completely separate entity from the HSPCA and from all other SPCAs, though they all have the same name (except for the first word or initial). Similarly, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not connected with the other Humane Societies around the country, including the one in Houston.

            In point of fact, Nathan Winograd’s No Kill Equation actually HAS reduced the kill rate to 10% or less in open admission shelters where it has been applied, including at the Austin pound. Mr. Winograd has done a thorough assessment of Houston’s BARC (paid for with donor money), but his suggestions for achieving No Kill have yet to be implemented. See Sorry to get so far off topic, but I know as Editor you seek correct facts. Thanks.

  8. abby house
    November 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Why is it when “horse people” who abuse horses are called out all they can say is that “these are not horse people”. Oh please find another defense. I happen to take care of a herd of horses and it does not take an expert to recognize that these horses are living a terrible existence. It is shameful for NYC and I feel sorry for the people who live there that have to endure it.

    Conflict of interest – right. For all we know the vet changed her story because these “horse people” are threatening her. I have yet to see an animal lover threaten but I have seen animal abusers threaten and assault. Radicals. Sigh – so only radical people have a sense of what is right and what is wrong: I don’t think so.

    • November 15, 2011 at 2:32 am

      Those are some very serious meanderings you have there about the vet being threatened by us.

      Somehow I think Dr Corey might have mentioned that when she filed her complaint with the State Attorney General’s office.

      You might want to bottle that acid, even if only to help your own credibility.

      • abby house
        November 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm

        Dear Eva,
        You may want to reread what I wrote. There is no “acid” only a possibility of what may have happened. Just as you present your ideas I present some alternatives. I love the way you can immediately accuse me of something inappropriate just because I disagree with you and have actually witnessed other events. In fact, I could dig up the news articles of animal abusers assaulting constables etc. I highly doubt that Dr Corey would have mentioned anything if she was afraid but I guess you can’t relate to that either. Animal abuse, child abuse, elderly abuse – people need to speak out against it. If you were so progressive then you would speak up and try to improve the conditions. Housing horses like that = disgrace.

        I am clearly against the entire carriage industry altogether but at least in other cities horses are trailered into the city when they work and return home to a farm where they rest. They are not expected to be in the city more than 3 days a week. I think that is more humane.

        • admin
          November 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm

          Horseback Magazine strictly prohibits activists or advocates posting misinformation on this forum. A broad general statement such as “in other cities horses are trailered into the city when they work and return home to a farm where they rest” is misleading. Such is not the case in most American cities where there is a carriage trade. In fact, New York’s strict rules regarding horse care in the city are a benchmark other towns would do well to copy.

          The Editor

          • abby house
            November 17, 2011 at 5:50 pm

            I don’t think you need to be an activist to have an opinion. You use the word activist as if it’s a dirty word – sigh.

            I live in Canada and although I’m not aware of regulations regarding carriage horses in Canada this how some carriage horses are treated. I believe the operators have no place to keep them in the cities to which I have referred. Misinformation – eh.

            It matters little how other operators are keeping their horses elsewhere since it is simply disgraceful that NYC operators enslave their horses and confine them in such misery. Let’s face it this is just animal slavery at it’s finest. Furthermore, the wonderful NYC carriage regulations are not protecting the horses if horses are dropping dead in the streets. In fact, nobody would even be talking about this if the carriage horse regulations actually kept these horses in a comfortable lifestyle now would they.

          • admin
            November 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm

            Believe it or not, horses actually do drop dead in streets, on farms, in rodeos, and even prestigeous horse shows such as happene to a great Olympic athlete. Your allgations, we believe, are wildly exaggerated.

          • Joe
            November 18, 2011 at 8:07 pm

            Concerned Readers

            Two recent New York City carriage horse incidents and public controversy as well as the suspension of American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was fired.Dr. Corey made a false report on the cause of the death of one horse. Also another false report.

            Read the whole article below. Joe


          • admin
            November 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

            The story in the magazine Joe cites is very old news predating Horseback’s more comprehensive story on the issue.

            The Editor

          • Joe
            November 19, 2011 at 1:15 am


            I am sorry if I question your comment, you mentioned that Charlie had an ulcer. This is what The ASPCA vet put in her report. Then she retracted in on Nov. 7 New York Times. She also lied about the other horse that was not driven because of the snow storm. Another lie and this is why she was dismissed. The only other mention you made is below. Joe

            admin on November 14, 2011 at 5:20 am
            ASPCA has a lot to answer for. In doing the story what I found particularly distressing was the fact they control when the horses are taken off the street because of weather by law. If the horses are working in sweltering temperatures aboave the mandated 89 degrees, then it’s ASPCA’s fault, and that’s damning.

            The Editor

        • Lynne
          November 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm

          Abby House, it works both ways. My husband and I trailered two horses into town, 2-5 days a week, to give carriage rides in a major city. We did this for nearly 5 years, and it was a logistical nightmare. We live 80 miles away, and driving through traffic with a horse trailer was much worse than any dangers we faced walking our horses around a 1.5 mile loop giving rides. Now, since I no longer drive, and we only have one license, my husband boards one horse in town at a city stable, while our other two horses stay at the farm. Each horse works 3 or 4 months a year, and then goes back to the farm for the rest of the year. It is safer, and easier on both us and our horses. When the shift is over, the horse walks back to the stable, and can sleep, eat, and rest, rather than being put through a long trailer ride.

          • Lynne
            November 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm

            And again Abby, horses do die. From the way people portray the NYC carriage industry, its a wonder anyone can walk or drive around Central Park, having to dodge all the dead horses blocking the roadways. Charlie suffered an acute, traumatic death, cause undetermined. It was not from ‘poor horsey syndrome’, breathing fumes, or a chipped tooth. In fact, a famous olympic horse died suddenly, within a week of Charlie’s death. These are both equally tragic.

  9. BloombergLies
    November 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Can your editors check the spelling of “Sayres” and “Nislick”? Thank you.

    Can your editors also check into the serious conflict of interest with the NYC Department of Health? The problem with Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs being married to Thomas McMahon, whose colleague (Jean Kim) has been a lobbyist for the NYC carriage industry?

    Can someone get Bloomberg a calculator and some truth serum? The city does not derive ANY direct revenue from this cash industry. He only gets away with propaganda because people let him. Now he say NYC pays municipal workers’ salaries as a benefit of the carriage industry, a cash-only business in which drivers have been videotaped illegally overcharging and illegally collecting sales tax!

    This “article” is absurd.

    What does the statement “horse meat is not eaten in the United States” have to do with anything? Horse meat is a lucrative export of the United States. guess what? Carriage horses, like race horses, are not immune.

    • Justin
      November 15, 2011 at 1:22 am

      Great response.

      • D, Verret
        November 15, 2011 at 2:12 am

        Yep! That was pretty good!

    • November 15, 2011 at 2:34 am

      Jean Kim?

      My, my – now we are getting into ancient history! LOL

  10. susan slater
    November 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Wrong, evil, thing to make horse do, the streets are no place for them, the heat on the pavement can fry an egg, SHAME on BLOOMBERG ! hore abuser ! I’m a lifetime horse woman I now what I am talking about this is a crime, these days, horses sholud have acess to clean water all day while working in fumes, mnoise, racing cars, buses, trucks airbacks breaking eardrums, the horse was abused died of carbon diovide exposure that ate up his insides, get te word out to the vistiors it is cruel to pay yr money to them! Get the cute cars! already !u horse abusers!scum of the earth !

    • D, Verret
      November 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      His daughter (Bloomberg)is riding the circuit now (I believe hunters/ jumpers at the Grand Prix level)….hardly unknowlegeable about equine welfare issues and costs. Problem is this is about economics…not equine welfare. If he cared, especially before the tear down of the CP stable, another one (larger, modern) would have been put up. And don’t kid your self that Bloomberg doesn’t know about space and real estate in NYC.

      We don’t know what Charlie died of yet.

    • Ellen-Cathryn Nash
      November 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      I rescue horses and I know how hot the pavement gets on the city streets. I also know that a Carriage that will carry 8 passengers is NOT a light carriage. Not all of the carriage horses are drafts or warmbloods, I have seen riding horses pulling carriages. Nevertheless I do support the trade. I think that people should be calling on Mayor Bloomberg to build stables in Central Park where the Park Police horses are kept. There is plenty of grass in the Sheep Meadow, it got its name because ages ago sheep were used to mow the lawn!

      In any event, the system does need to be improved. As I said Carriage Driving is an Olympic sport and I would like to know who and where the drivers are trained? Who signs off on their license? This seems somewhat ‘iffy’ to me but I fully agree the trade should not be banned.

      I have never taken a Carriage ride in my life, but as a horse owner and rescuer, and having worked in Manhattan for years I have spent plenty of time visiting with the horses and the drivers. Some drivers are friendly, others are not. I think the horse that collapsed most likely had a stroke or a myocardial infarction. That was in his genes so he was pre-disposed to die of one or the other.

      • D, Verret
        November 15, 2011 at 2:10 am

        Excellent points.

  11. Janet Ferguson
    November 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    How do the NYC ordinances on horse carriage businesses read? And any other City ordinances that may apply and influence the activities of the NYC carriage trade?

    • November 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      Here are SOME of the regulations (you asked for them…)

      Look up

      TITLE 17 (Department of Health)
      Chapter 3
      Subchapter 3

      TITLE 19 (Department of Transportation)
      Chapter 1
      Subchapter 2

      TITLE 20 (Department of Consumer Affairs)
      Chapter 2
      Subchapter 21

      Also see the RULES OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
      TITLE 6 (Dept. of Consumer Affairs)
      TITLE 24 (Health Department)

      (All told the ADMINISTRATIVE CODE and RULES cited above runs in excess of 40 pages single spaced.)

      Add on top of that all the New York state anti-cruelty legislation, and you’ve got some of the MOST regulated horses in the world.

      (Who else here has a LAW telling you when EXACTLY – down to the temperature degree – you have to blanket your horse and how?)

      Lack of regulation is NOT a problem, nor is lack of oversight – 5 different city agencies (including the ASPCA) are authorized to issue citations and make inspections. Dr. Corey, in her official statement to the Dept. of Health where she “corrected and clarified” the ASPCA’s version said, “We have the capability and authority to ensure that such horses receive the proper care that they need and we are satisfied that they do.”

      • Joe
        November 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm


        Another well written article. You give everyone the facts. AS you may remember the comment made above about D. Verret asking for documentation, then always wants to question or make a snied remark. D. Verret is very good at this. She is all about emotions and never has any creditable facts.


    • D, Verret
      November 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Ordinances are one thing…enforcing them and prosecuting are another.

      • John
        November 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm

        The draft horse

        Remember what I posted above about D.Verret, she will ask for documentation then dispute it or call some out right lies. She must either be a spoiled child or has a grudge anainst anyone that loves horses and uses them for what they love to do, work.


        • November 15, 2011 at 12:59 am

          John, can you read? Ordinances are only as good as the enforcement. There are a lot of animal laws on the books but if they’re not enforced, what good are they? There are abuse laws across the country and when you report someone, many local authorities turn the other way and do nothing. The EU and FDA have strict food safety laws and yet, they’re not enforced with US horses.

          Nobody is against horses working. Most thrive when they have a job to do. But with some people, the care and treatment of the horses while they’re working is horrific. I do not paint the industry with the same brush but when there are abuses, don’t excuse them.

  12. Betsy
    November 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Positively frightening. First horses, what’s next? dogs and cats?

  13. Jane
    November 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    For those of you who rescue horses, as I do, both privately and by contributing to rescues, the last thing you want to do is take a job away from a well-care for animal. Take a look at Bill 86, introduced by the anti-carriage state Senator Tony Avella. It aims to SEIZE PRIVATE PROPERTY , i.e. the carriage horses, force the owners to donate the horses to”sanctuaries” (we know how many of those who lots of room and money for horses are around) and not be adopted out to anyone who would ever drive or ride them again. If these radical animal rights activists (RARAs) can seize these horses because they don’t like the activity, what’s to stop them from going after your horses or discipline? Eventing, foxhunting, racing, endurance, etc. anyone? You should read some of the comments left by RARAs after the death of Hickstead. Lamaze was also called a greedy money grubber who “enslaved” the horse. Here’s the bill’s relevant language: THE OWNER SHALL SELL OR DONATE THE HORSE TO A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL

    • D, Verret
      November 14, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      The rub/debate/interpretation is in the definition of
      “well cared for” and who is involved in the discussion and enforcement of same.

      • Jane
        November 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

        Unlike a lot of horses living in someone’s back field, where most starvation and abuse cases occur, the NYC carriage horses are on public display on Central Park South. If you can find a photo of an ill-kempt, thin NYC carriage horse, please post it. They are plump and shiny. I’ve been in the main stable, and the horses are in large, deeply bedded stalls with auto waterers and hay in front of them whenever they are inside. I am not a carriage driver or owner, but support them after seeing firsthand how the horses live and are cared for.

        • D, Verret
          November 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm

          Beside the point of overall welfare and safety of NYC carriage equines.

      • John
        November 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm

        D. Verret

        For someone who thinks they know so much about horses and taking care of them, is very questionable. It seems you use very little to no common sense at all in you comments and posts..


        • D, Verret
          November 15, 2011 at 2:07 am

          And it would appear that you don’t have anything to contribute to this discussion about conflict of interest and the welfare of equines, specifically carriage industry equines. But you and Joe seem to have an ax to grind with me (and a few others).

          Thank you for continuing to prove my point about veracity, intelligence and purpose….I am honored that I bug you so much.

  14. Poor Ginger
    November 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I consider the humane treatment of carriage horses a separate, but equally important issue. Although this article contains much about the pros and cons re: welfare and the industry in general, I’m more interested in the alleged pressures put on the vet, and “conflict of interest” on the part of the ASPCA CEO. If proven (and quickly, I hope), he should be the one to resign, not the vet!

  15. D, Verret
    November 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t believe this story is as simple as presented. There are emotional issues here on both sides; some want the carriage trade shut down completely and others believe in the enterprise. I don’t believe carriage equines should be on NYC streets. There has to be some middle ground.

    ASPCA has law enforcement authority in NYC (remember Animal Cops. Police equines cannot be used as a comparison to the carriage equines; there are many equines (for pleasure, sport and entertainment) utilized in the vicinity of NYC. There do appear to be different standards.

    I’m not giving ASPCA a pass on the appearance of impropriety, BUT it does not negate all the good work they do. In addition, do we know for a fact that the real estate firm is actively seeking the stable properties? Why doesn’t Bloomberg and the Carriage Association work on a stable in Central Park?

    Is the issue equine welfare, shooting down ASPCA or finding a solution? What did the necropsy of the downed and then dead horse reveal?

    • admin
      November 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks for the questions. Here are two answers. The carriage owner’s association is making the allegation that Edison Properties wants the stables. The final results of the necropsy have not been made public. Finally, the city tore down the one stable in Central Park last year, according to carriage company owner Steve Malone.

      • D, Verret
        November 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm

        I understand…but is the company actively seeking the property (ies)? I don’t like what Bloomberg does or the allegations of the carriage association. I need proof…not finger pointing. The ASPCA DOES have a conflict problem, but it has nothing to do with equine welfare. The proponents of allegations suggest that the ASPCA wants to shut them down for special interest…not welfare violations. Murky waters here folks.

        I agree, put new stables in the park and run the cabbies IN THE PARK.

        Everything dies; it is just a matter of when and why. The horsemen/women of NYPDs mounted units are way, way different from people running carriages. It is possible the horse died of a heart attack, BUT only time will tell and still will not solve the all or nothing approach to this issue.

      • D, Verret
        November 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

        I would double check everything Mr. Malone says. And no, I’m not calling him a liar.

        • November 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

          Well, to start with, Mr. Nislick the developer has repeatedly made reference to the fact that each of the 68 medallioned carriages is associated with multiple horses who work day and night shift on them, and in so doing has referred rather disparagingly to “how many square feet they take up” that could be freed up if they were gone.


          Thirdly: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the real estate pressures on 37th and 38th St.’s particularly. Just take a walk.

          FINALLY, with regards to Mr. Malone’s veracity (which I will vouch for, as if it matters) – you are right from a journalistic or scientific frame of mind to demand independent verification of fact. HOWEVER… the same standard should be applied to all of the “claims” that the ASPCA and other anti-carriage horse activists make. If you read the comments on this very forum, you will see a number of “beliefs” about carriage horses that have been gleaned from anti-carriage-horse propaganda, that cannot be confirmed and simply doesn’t hold up in the face of FACTS.

          Hold both sides to equal standards of proof… don’t let that “ASPCA” name lend more weight than it deserves.

          • D, Verret
            November 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm

            ASPCA has legal authority and also lobbys.

            I didn’t say the carriage has to go away; to the contrary, I believe there is a middle ground.

            One man’s facts are another’s spin and twist and vice versa. ASPCA does have more standing as they have a law enforcement branch sanctioned and approved within the jurisdiction of NYC and NY state.

            The issue is appearance of conflict of interest trying to maintain animal welfare standards. That I get. But animal welfare should be first and foremost. And you got folks on your side saying abolish HSUS. Rather Draconian to me.

  16. November 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I have seen many shows of Animal Planet NY when the ASPCA has been out there with the thermometer and forced horses indoors…so i do know that part is true, How old are these horses that are working like this?? would you want to be pulling a cart with hundred of pounds behind you? I think these horses should be in pastures to enjoy the rest of the life they have. NYC?? traffic, crazy taxi drivers..and just drivers alone?? they have no regard for people why would they care about a horse?….get them off the has nothing to do with carrying on the family business…it is about the ole mighty dollar…strap on that gear to grandpa and let’s see how he does.

    • Laura McFarland-Taylor
      November 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      These horses are draft horses which are bred to do this kind of work. Horses are meant to work – would you also ban all the work done by horses?

      Live in pastures? Where? Do you have any idea how expensive it is to keep a horse, even on pasture? Do you have any idea how badly this economy has hurt horses (and other animals)? Horse rescues are overflowing – where, exactly do you think these horses are going to go and who is going to pay for their care?

      As noted above – three carriage horses have died while working in 30 years. That’s an amazing track record. The horses are very well cared for, are given a vacation and put on pasture for weeks at a time. If the problem is “crazy” drivers – why punish the carriage drivers?

      • Susan
        November 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm

        I would hope that the businesses that profited from these horses would pay for their after care.
        If they aren’t, they need to start now for better public perception. Charities taking on the costs of after care is a form of enabling, really.

        This isn’t about punishing the carriage drivers, re-framing them as victims is typical deflection.

        If the car drivers are crazy, then the horses are the first ones to experience the craziness. Instead of complaining that people wanting change here ought to go rescue horses instead, how about the carriage trade fixes the problem of crazy NYC drivers?

        See how illogical that is?** :) Thank you.

        PS **Maybe not. People like horses, they notice them when they tune out people. Some PSAs featuring the horses, with public service messages on safe driving, might be worth thinking about.

        • November 15, 2011 at 2:22 am

          Susan – we have partnered with Blue Star Equiculture, not to “externalize our costs”, and not for “better public perception.”

          We did it because it is in the best interest of our horses; it has been discussed and bandied about for years. Now we have a venue, and we intend to support that venue OURSELVES, with private fundraisers, ie selling tickets in-house for parties, events etc.

          As for “crazy drivers and traffic” – people can cite that all they want; the stark facts are that we have had 3 equine fatalities and zero human fatalities from traffic accidents in the last 30 years.

          Please name me ANY other discipline or horse enterprise that can match those figures.

  17. Horsemom
    November 14, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I always find the “noxious fumes” argument rather interesting. Many claim carriage horses are somehow being “abused” because they supposedly breathe in fumes from vehicle exhaust. Carbon dioxide and other fumes are heavier than air. They tend to settle close to the ground. An average horse with his head in a relaxed position tends to hold his head about 3-4 feet above the ground. Higher when his head is in an upright position. If ANY animal needs to be “saved” from fumes, it is the thousands of DOGS who are cruelly made to walk barefoot ( horses have shoes) on boiling hot or freezing cold ground right at the level where noxious gasses collect day in & day out. Dogs are also a “danger” to humans. Dog bites are the most common animal-related injury in the U.S. They get loose & get hit by cars. Keeping a dog in the city is cruel. Dogs were meant to run in packs, dig dens & kill prey. Not wear nail polish and lay on sofas 22 hrs a day.
    IOW, a carriage horse is being “subjected” to no more “cruelty” than the dogs New Yorkers claim to love so much. Horses, like dogs, have been bred for millenia to be domesticated. The majority of non-feral horses would not last long if set free in the wild.

  18. Lindsay
    November 14, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Hi Eva

    I have to agree with you. I was a carriage driver myself in the very busy Cape Town and I never had an issue with my double team of Percherons. I even drove them up into the Gardens amongst pedestrians and never an accident. The people who are quick to put their two cents in are people who havent the foggiest idea of what they are talking about and the few horse people who comment have never driven a carriage. So, in my opinion keep the carriage horses alive and well – this is after all what they were bred for. Also, we have a huge problem with the rescue centres here, which I might add are filled with people who know next to nothing about horses or what they are bred for. People should rather read up about horses – their breeds and what they are bred for before they actually comment and then as far as the heat is concerned, horses actually can work in heat that we find intolerable so long as they are given enough water during the day, they thrive!!!! Good Luck and God Bless!

    • November 15, 2011 at 2:17 am

      Thank you so very much for your kind words, wisdom, and support, Lindsay. Very best to you and your Perches!

  19. Ellen-Cathryn Nash
    November 14, 2011 at 7:08 am

    I have seen the carriage horses over the years and I have a few constructive thoughts. First, the horses should be housed in Central Park. There used to be stables there for the wealthy Upper Eastsiders so there is no reason that the City cannot build a barn or two to house these horses. Mayor Bloomberg could easily pay for this and charge rent just as the owners of the horses pay now. The horses are PRIVATELY owned and if you take the owners’ source of income away that would not bode well for the horses no matter how much they claim to love their horses.

    The larger carriages should be pulled by TEAMS of horses, not just one. The Carriage drivers have to learn how to drive a carriage; not all of them know how to do this. Carriage Driving is an Olympic sport so it is rather difficult. The drivers must be licensed just like any other driver, they should have to pass a test for skills, horse safety and a lot of other elements.

    The Carriage trade will never be banned; the city would have to buy back the Medallions and that is many millions of dollars. Don’t fight to ban it, fight to reform it. To the protesters that want to ban the trade it is a waste of time that could be spent to reform the trade for the benefit of the horses.

    Dr. Corey is an excellent vet and all of these political and ‘insider conflicts of interest’ have nothing to do with keeping the horses safe! Isn’t that what we want? To keep the horses safe.

    • D, Verret
      November 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Excellent points…and what I posted and thought earlier. But he articulated it better than I did.

      • D, Verret
        November 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm

        Sorry, “…but you articulated it better than I did.”

    • Betsy
      November 14, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      They are licensed. I can move most horse carriages myself (I have many times). These aren’t wagons or heavy carriages that require a team. They are very light weight.

      • D, Verret
        November 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm

        Driving is an art, a science. A carriage is a carriage in heavy traffic, pedestrian or vehicle.

    • November 15, 2011 at 2:15 am

      There were never private stables in Central Park. Ever.

      The carriages are all more or less the same size, and lightweight.

      The “reformers” come along every year or so, with each one trying to “reinvent the wheel” as regards our industry.

      They’re always new to the scene, we aren’t.

      Here is new legislation that we helped craft just last year:

  20. Carriage Horse Lover
    November 14, 2011 at 6:42 am

    To all the people posting here about “abuse” and “inhumane” treatment of carriage horses, please be advised that abuse and neglect are covered by NYC and NY state animal cruelty laws. There are similar laws in almost every state, and there is a federal Horse Protection Act.

    Can you produce a single copy of a summons or citation issued to a NYC carriage horse owner or driver for anumal cruelty, or can you provide a copy of an arrest record for any NYC carriage horse owner or driver?

    If you cannot, then kindly quit saying that the NYC carriage horses suffer abuse and/or neglect. It may be your opinion that the conditions in NYC are abusive or inhumane, and that is fine, but it is your OPINION. If you own a horse and don’t want to use him or her in NYC, that is your choice and your right.

    The carriage horse owners and drivers have a RIGHT to drive their horses in the city as long as they are obeying the laws regarding how to operate their carriages and how to care for their horses.

    If, and I say IF, they are not following the law, then it is the responsibility of the ASPCA to “police” them and issue appropritate summonses, or citations or make arrests.

    And kindly quit using a poor dead horse that most of you probably never noticed until he died to push your anti-carriage horse cause and raise funds for it. You talk about the NYC carriage horse drivers and owners using their horses to make money and ONLY caring about money– well what you are doing is disgusting. You are trying to profit off the death of someone else’s horse. Shame on you.

    If you are so concerned about horse welfare, why don’t you go buy an auction horse and pay to give it a retirement home for the rest of its life. Now, THAT would be something good.

    • D, Verret
      November 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Sorry, but the HPA is only as good as those people that are required to enforce it and follow through to incarceration and no easy parole or animal ownership.

      To your last paragraph, many here posting DO buy auction equines (when we can beat/outbid the KBs), support rehoming, rescues and humane euthanasia when prescribed by a vet. That last paragraph of yours is typical deflect, distract, off topic horse abuse talk. You are trying to shift debate; the carriage horses are there and there ARE problems. And I am giving retirements to the 8 equines that came into my life, although the only relative issue there is that I take care of my animals when they were a business and now, when they are no longer a business.

      • Carriage Horse Lover
        November 22, 2011 at 8:07 am

        Well, good for you D. Verret. You have given eight horses a home- so please stop trying to take away the homes that the approximately 200 NYC carriage horses alrady have- unless you are willing to step up and give them all homes, too.

        I, too, an providing a home to up to eight horses at a time. When one passes over the bridge,I have given its place to another horse- for life. There are only eight horses at a time her. But since 1999, I have provided a last loving home to several who have crossed over already.

        I see noting wrong with working horses and urban horses. Horses are used to do all kinds of jobs in Europe from delivering beer to hauling away trash. I see nothing wrong with this.

        I also have no problem with horse-drawn carriages. I have one myself and I have horse-drawn farm equipment, too.

        I do have a problem with people lying about the NYC horses’ living and working conditions. I also have a problem with people who want to tell others what they should do or not do.

        If you and others don’t like the carriages, fine. Don’t ride in them- problem solved. If you see real abuse, report it to the proper authorities – problem solved.

        Don’t go around yelling, screaming and name-calling at people who want to take a carriage ride or the drivers, who are just trying to make a living for their horses and themselves.

  21. Jeannie Parisi
    November 14, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Listen up please, this is my view on the Carriage Horses in NYC..They do not belong on the road of Manhattan, gee, that should just be common sense to anyone. It is dangerous and if you cannot figure out why without me saying why, then nothing will help you to see the forest through the trees. Sigh

    • November 14, 2011 at 6:01 am

      That’s your view, and you are entitled to it. But it is only an opinion.

      As far as “dangerous” goes, our industry has an AMAZING safety record; for instance, we have had 3 horse fatalities due to traffic accidents in the last 30 years, and ZERO human fatalities.

      Did you know that there regularly are multiple deaths and/or injuries, both human and equine, in a single weekend of horse sports in disciplines like cross country, jumping, and racing?

      • November 14, 2011 at 8:30 am

        Wow, Eva. Everyone is wrong except you. Why are your opinions correct but everyone else’s aren’t? Are you saying Blinders is all fake footage?

        There is more going on here that meets the eye and if there is indeed a conflict of interest, it needs to be dealt with. But to portray the carriage industry as you are, is far from accurate. This isn’t 1930. In today’s congested traffic, especially New York, carriages have no business on the street with cars. The near misses are frequent with everyone trying to go around the horses. There have been numerous accidents with injuries to both horses and humans but because they weren’t fatal, they don’t count? The horses that dropped dead while working don’t count because they weren’t hit by cars? There were 2 accidents alone within days of Bloomberg signing the industry bill last year.

        It’s not much better in downtown Chicago. The horses just look miserable. One stable was already shut down because of inhumane conditions. They are not alone.

        This country has gone down the tubes in its treatment of animals and ignoring it and making excuses, doesn’t make it okay.

        • November 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

          Vicki – You are not painting the whole story, either, especially when it comes to Chicago. The carriage stable that was “shut down” was shut down because they were raided just before feeding time in the AM… when the stalls needed mucking and the horses were “dirty” and when it was time to refill buckets and hay… Would you want YOUR barn invaded and judged at that time? In fact, it turns out that none of the charges stuck.. and it’s generally been acknowledged that in that case, it was a “bad” seizure… shouldn’t have happened.

          As for traffic in NYC – yes there is a lot of it. Buuuuuuuttttt that’s not the carriage horses’ fault. Seems to me the solution is more horses and fewer cars! More mass transit (like the subway) and fewer taxis. Why is it “unsafe” for horses, but OK for pedicabs, who are harder to see, follow traffic laws less, and can travel well outside the confines of Central Park and immediate vicinity?

          Or, for that matter, why is the traffic in NYC so scary to people, when it is moving slowly in an area where motorist 1) know there are carriages and 2) are also on the lookout for crazy pedestrians, pedicabs, bicyclists, food cart vendors on the commute, stopped delivery trucks, etc, but the notion of tossing horses in a flimsy aluminum container and hurtling down the interstate at 65 mph every weekend to go to shows doesn’t bother them at all?

          • John
            November 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm

            The Draft Horse

            Another well written article. Some of these people will do and say anything to stop someone from using a horse as they have been bred to do for hundreds of years. They only want someone to only use them as a pasture orinament..

            Thanks for tryng to set the facts right..


          • shelly
            November 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm

            “the horses look miserable”. Why? Because they stand around waiting for a ride, heads down, asleep? Miserable. And the barn in Chicago was shut down because an idiot manager failed to comply with building permits. The city, not any AR group, shut the stable down.

        • shelly
          November 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm

          “the horses look miserable”. Why? Because they stand around waiting for a ride, heads down, asleep? Miserable.

          • November 15, 2011 at 12:39 am

            I wasn’t aware that the carriage horses were asleep when they were pulling carriages in the streets. Thanks for clarifying that.

        • Joe
          November 14, 2011 at 10:38 pm


          You sure can not stand when someone has a view different than yours and something good to say including the truth. You seem to have as many opinions as D. VERRET, only opinions!! In your views horses that do not run free are not well taken care of.. Large box stalls with plenty of bedding and good clean water and plenty of fresh hay in your eyes is bad. These horses can lay down if they like and even roll in the stall. Horses that are used every day enjoy this better than anything.

          • November 15, 2011 at 12:46 am

            The stable that was shut down in Chicago had been under investigation for a long time. It didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t from one visit in the morning.

            Joe, I was pointing out the FACT that there have been numerous accidents with injuries to humans and horses. The poster was stating what a stellar record they had on deaths as if the accidents or horses dropping dead when they are working don’t count. That is not an opinion, they are facts. If you’re going to quote statistics, then quote them all. List the number of accidents and injuries and then point out there were only 3 deaths.

            There are many well kept stables. I didn’t challenge that but you can’t ignore the stables that are hell holes and there are many.

            Must you always twist my words?

      • Mustang Man
        November 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm

        You have got to be kidding!(pro carriage support at top) You compare standing in the sun or under some shade in over 89 degree weather draped with a harness pulling 1500 lbs+ of wood and people at least 8 hours a day as being = to a conditioned, young, race horse with a 4lb saddle hauling a 110 lb jockey for 2 minutes or < in 100 degree temps on a groomed track then being washed down with cool water by hand, groomed and put in a cool fan equipped stable as the same thing as what your horses have to do? Really? And you are looking for support from whom again. And just what kind of imbeciles would support you after saying something like that? And I thought the pro slaughter flunkies came up with some good ones!

        • admin
          November 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm

          We aren’t looking for support, we are doing a news story. Sorry if it didn’t fit your preconception. These horses are draft animals, beasts of burden, if you will. They have been bred to work in all conditions for hundreds of years. They have a job to do, and they do it well. We are, nowever, troubled by the horses having to wait for fares on hot pavement. That needs to change.

          The Editor

          • Justin
            November 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm

            You once did the mistake of riding your horses on hot pavement without proper protection for their hooves. And then you said you would never do it again, and you probably won’t, unless you get the proper gear.
            You are then appalled that horses carriages ride on hot pavement day in, day out, 8 to 9 hours a day. Do you really think that whoever is refraining from protecting these horses hooves and overall health gives a damn about their health?
            I am not against horse carriages by any means, but this industry is pretty on the outside, and kind of ugly on the inside, cutting cost at the expense of the horses.
            What about the investigation from Animal Angels? You are not appalled at all that carriage horses are held in tiny cells without room to move, that they have to keep on working even when injured (following their investigation).
            I think you do have blinders on.

          • admin
            November 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm

            Go back through these posts Justin. The vice president of the carriage association gave a detailed account of precisely what kind of footwear the horses are fitted with to protect them from the heated pavement. Besides, temps below 89 degrees are not very high by Texas standards. We have little patience with zealots. We have no patience with uninformed zealots.

            The Editor

          • shelly
            November 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm

            Hot shod horses folks, ever seen it done? When you can smell the hooves burning? I would be concerned if the carriage horses’ hooves produced this same smell and smoke. However, they don’t. There is no proof of any of this: just because YOU think a horse is ‘miserable’ because you think you see ‘sad’ eyes, well, Sheesh, all Basset Hound owners are torturers, their dogs look so sad! They do ride and work horses in places like, oh, Central America, and, I don’t know, Texas, where I hear it gets hot. Like Houston, where I lived. I didn’t get past the trailer for “Blunders”, and and had numerous people tell me that Donny filmed so many pictures of horses’ legs because he believed horse chestnuts were tumors. If you don’t like horses working in NY, then don’t work your horses there. I think horse racing is cruel, so I don’t participate in it. Show jumpers, horse racing, breeders, boarding barns, these all are money related. So carriage horses make money, which allows their owners to feed, shoe, stable, and provide vet care for them. If money wasn’t a factor, hay would be free, board free, and vets work for nothing. If paying for a carriage ride is exploiting a horse, so are riding lessons, board fees.

        • hrslady59
          November 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

          Ohhhhhh, Mustang man, for you to imply that the life of a TB racehorse is easy street compared to a carriage horse shows an incredible level of ignorance about horses. I’ve owned, showed, judged shows,ran a boarding barn, given lessons, and frankly been in the horse biz all my life now totaling over 40 years worth. I currently own both barrel racers, show horses, trail horses, and carriage horses. Guess what? The EASIEST thing on a horse is pulling a carriage followed by a trail horses job. Carriage horses never have to gallop, do 99% of their job at a walk, and suffer zero sports injuries from pulling a carriage. I cant say the same thing about the race horses, or even some of the show horses (which includes dressage, jumping, reining, and many other high performance equine events) where injected hocks, pulled tendons, and a whole host of sports injuries are COMMON. Now how about we be honest here and just admit that you here plugging the animal rights activists movie “Blinders” are just a bunch of PETA minded individuals that don’t think people should enjoy horses for ANYTHING. Then…we can get down to business. I could give you some real genuine problems in the horse industry that would be a legitimate thing to oppose, but horse and carriage isn’t one of them.

    • November 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm

      like i said strap on that equiptment to the family and see what happens..they think because these animals are huge and strong they can work non stop??….

      • November 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm

        Anna – That is anthropomorphism coupled by misinformation.

        First of all, NYC carriage horses are not allowed to be in harness for more than 9 hours… That includes their commute to and from the park. Most of the time, the carriage horses are standing around, waiting for rides. They are required, during busy periods to have at least a 15 minute break of non-working every 2 hours. Further, the “work” carriage horses do is not hard… they pull the carriage mostly at a walk, and in terms of relative body weights, pulling a carriage with passengers for a horse is like you pushing a shopping cart with a few gallons of milk.

        So yes, horses are big and strong. They can’t (and don’t) work non-stop, but we scrawny humans also don’t understand the power behind real horsepower.

  22. Louie Cocroft
    November 14, 2011 at 5:16 am

    I think you would have to be one of the Carriage Horses to really know.

    • admin
      November 14, 2011 at 5:20 am

      ASPCA has a lot to answer for. In doing the story what I found particularly distressing was the fact they control when the horses are taken off the street because of weather by law. If the horses are working in sweltering temperatures aboave the mandated 89 degrees, then it’s ASPCA’s fault, and that’s damning.

      The Editor

      • November 14, 2011 at 5:38 am

        Dear Admin:

        Thank you so very much for the FIRST cogent and comprehensive article written about our situation. The media here have ignored our side for the most part, and mangled it any time they actually did pay attention to it. Your article gives me hope.

        As for the responses here, please know that your article was posted on FB, and is being passed around by the anti-horse factions. It is obvious that they are neither regular Horseback readers — or horsemen.

        Eva Hughes
        VP Horse & Carriage Association of NYC

      • D, Verret
        November 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

        ASPCA has law enforcement authority in NYC…I don’t find it troubling at all. But you know that right? And every NYC or NY state authority has the legal right to enforce animal welfare statutes as well….ASPCA isn’t the sole adjudicator.

      • Joe
        November 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm


        You are so right when you say that over 89 degrees is to hot. I grew up on a farm/ranch out west. My dad and granfather were well known for their good ranch horses and draft horses. We mowed hay, racked hay with horses. When I was young we even stacked hay with 2 buckers and a stacker. We never worked our horses in the heat of day. We started early and quit when it go hot. The old saying not fit for man or beast. When we did work all day we would switch teams at noon..Some people do not have any common sense, so they have to make laws. People without common sense are the ones who make our lives miserable.

        Thanks again for having an article that includes draft horses.


    • November 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm


  23. Ronnie
    November 14, 2011 at 4:32 am

    I don’t “buy’ this story re the ASPCA nor the “blue collar” gentle life of NYC’s carriage horses. I lived in NYC for many years. I saw the horrors these horses face, day-by-day. I’ve been to candlelight vigils for a dead horse. The tourists, seeing the horses standing in urine and eating and drinking from fly and horse urine pails, are shocked. The horses stand OUTSIDE Central Park for hours with no protection from the heat or cold. They wait and wait in a line for passengers. Once loaded, then they go into Central Park. And they also DO haul on the congested NYC streets. A great danger is loud noises. The horses panic and run. Disasters have happened. The horses ARE out in more than 89 degrees, and in winter, freezing blizzards. They even were out when Hurricane Irene was just hitting NYC. The majority of these horses come from New Holland Auction House in PA.,,,,Amish country. The Amish are known NOT to give good care to their animals. So even though a vet may examine the horses, I do not trust the conclusion of all being 100% fit. For this horse, Charlie, dropping dead after 20 days on the job, is pretty “telling” that he was not well. In addition, when a horse’s duty is done, they go to farms, upstate NY, NOT to slaughter…nor auction houses, again. Something in Gotham stinks here. Just maybe the carriage horse advocates were getting pretty close to closing down this brutal, abusive, NYC carriage horse trade. So a boomerang needed to be thrown in. R.I.P. Charlie. R.I.P. Smoothie. R.I.P. all the horses who have suffered and died pulling, hauling for Mayor Bloomberg and the so-called “romantic ride” to hell.

    • Betsy
      November 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      Interesting. There have been 3 horse fatalities in 30 years, and no human fatalities. Yet you seem to think they are keeling over dead daily. It’s expensive to buy, train and keep a carriage horse. Some do come from the Amish, but a lot of amish prefer to use lighter horses, not draft horses. some may come from their, but many more are well bred, well trained, and well cared for animals. Sure, some may die because you can not 100% diagnose anything, but the vast majority are fine. They get more vacation time than most humans or other horses that race or show or are breeding.

      I doubt many would go to Slaughter either. Most I’ve seen are grey, which slaughter houses won’t take.. too much risk of melanomas it appears.

      • November 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

        The NYC carriage horses don’t go to slaughter because well-trained, well-cared for carriage horses are desirable when they are ready to retire, and carriage drivers usually have no problem finding private “retirement” homes where their horses (usually in their late teens or early 20s) can go on to another career as a pleasure driving horse, trail horse, therapeutic riding horse, and more. Carriage horses can also be place with Blue Star Equiculture (, the official retirement home of the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City, or through the adoption program at the New York Humane Society.

        • D, Verret
          November 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

          Please provide data and reports with follow-up on same.

          • John
            November 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm

            D. Verret

            You sure think you can talk the talk.

            You say do not take the grays. Do you know that most of them have or get cancer.. That is why a gray horse is cheaper at the sales. Just check out the value of a gray verses a solit color, same weight!!Here you go again, the expert and are wrong again. You say you go to so many sales!! You only sit behind a computor and write your opinions!!


        • Susan
          November 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm

          The organizations you list, Blue Star and NYHS are 501(c)(3) charities. They are asking the public for donations to support the horses’ after care.

          It appears the carriage trade is externalizing at least part of the cost of after care to private donors.

          The carriage companies are commercial ventures; they should not be competing for dwindling charity dollars for their working horses especially at a time when the public is examining how the horses are cared for.

          In FL, horses that race on certain tracks have an industry retirement program funded out of the purses.

          Do ALL NYC carriage horses have a guaranteed space like that? If not, why not, and what is the plan to fix that? Responsible horse ownership is all about after care.

          Is there a microchip registry that can be accessed remotely, from the kill pens?

          Transparency is critical in the court of public opinion. Surely folks know how rampant slaughter has been for carriage horses over the years. This is a good time to let people see data on where the horses go.

          Unfortunately, slaughter is a risk for horses in the Atlantic corridor. Bravo Meat Packing, a low end slaughter house is down I-295 in Penns Cove NJ. It’s a desperate place that survives despite public sentiment against it.

          We know Thoroughbreds go directly from the race track to Bravo; the feet still have racing shoes on.

        • John
          November 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm

          The Draft Horse

          You are so right is saying these well-cared for horses don’t go to slaughter.. You are very accurate in what you say, very well written.

          Just a word of caution, just notice how D. Verret always wants Data and Reports. She is very good at asking others to provide information to her. But usually posts lies when you ask her.This is my experience and opinion of D. Verret. She also has a bad temper and will start calling anyone names that she does not agree with.


      • Susan
        November 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm

        With respect, have you examined the USDA export data, or reviewed the video and photographic evidence on horse color and slaughter?

        Had you done your research, you would have seen plenty of grey and white horses slaughtered for human consumption. The killers don’t care that they are lying on export affidavits about banned drugs, so why would they care about melanoma?

        I wish I could believe the stories of bucolic retirement. Unfortunately, it’s common knowledge the carriage trade industry uses the slaughter pipeline as a place to obtain cheap horses, and “retire” them at the end of their productivity. I have personally heard, from a party to the trade in NY, if the trade is discontinued, they’ll send the horses to slaughter. This is nothing more than emotional blackmail.

        I have also seen carriage horses that came off in chargeable neglect condition. That does not mean all do; it just means that the posters here claiming ideal conditions are exaggerating, at best, and pushing an agenda, at worst.

        Drafts and draft crosses of all colors remain desirable in the slaughter trade, and draft-QH cross mares in the Premarin factories.

        I would be willing to wager the carriage barns, like most stables, keep legal medications on hand like Banamine and Bute. You’d want some of that on hand; a horse’s feet can react to standing for long periods on hot pavement.

        Just one dose of Phenylbutazone (Bute) or Banamine, and it’s against US, Canadian and EU food safety laws to sell it to slaughter. Bute Causes fatal aplastic anemia in children. Fly spray is banned from food animals too; I’m assuming with the summer we had the carriage horses got fly protection.

        Clearly, with the risk common horse meds pose to human health, it’s not socially responsible for ANY carriage horses to go “down the road” to the killer.

        And yes, I work in the horse industry, and had the opportunity to drive a team of Percherons in the mountains of the Adirondacks a few years back. Their intelligence and athleticism was amazing. They were pulling less than their allowed weight, but even so instead of asking the team to pull a load of people and gear up a hill, the driver asked the people to walk.

      • Joe
        November 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm


        Thank you for the well written article that you posted Nov. 13 at 3;01 pm. You pretty much explained very well about gray horses. Miss know it all D. Verret runs at the mouth like she has diarrhea of the mouth..

        The comment about 3 horse deaths in 30 years is a very good example. These people seem to try and make everyone believe that it is all about abuse..These same people that talk about horse deaths and injuries for get that people drop dead every day for no foreseen reason either. Look at heat and people that drop dead. People break their arms, legs every day on public transportation. They never say anything about that. Accidents happen, deaths happen. But if it is a horse, my god , someone should be locked up in jail!!

        Everything you say is the truth because a lot of people use common sense. I sometimes wonder just what kind of experience some that post here really have. Must just watch movies..

        Thanks for taking the time to educate the people that just do not have a clue, just a dream of what they think it should be. Be careful, D. Verret will ask for documentation just so she can make a snide remark or argue. Facts are facts and it does not soak in her head..


  24. Justin
    November 14, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Carriage horses are a sad part of NYC tourism. Watch the documentary “Blinders”, and you will find out that these horses are treated very poorly and kept in “cells”, not even stables.
    They are forced to perform under unbearable conditions, regardless of their health, and that’s the norm. You do not need to be a “radical animal rights activist” to deplore the treatment of NYC carriage horses. Take a closer look, there is a lot more unravelling than a glossy postcard. And you know what? Tourists will still flock to NY, carriage horses or not. Find an alternative which does not involve abuse. If dogs were treated this way, these business owners would have been arrested long ago.

    • November 14, 2011 at 5:46 am

      Justin – you really ought to check your facts before making such absurd accusations. Here is a video of our horses’ stalls:

      If you can get this simple fact wrong, what else are you getting wrong?

      • Justin
        November 14, 2011 at 7:04 am

        Eva, here is a video of the prison cells where horses are forced to live in:
        You can google “Blinders trailer” on youtube, or just go to the movie’s site: These are despicable conditions. Shame on those who keep on insisting that horse carriages are safe and that horses are treated fairly and kept in good health.

      • Alpha Mare
        November 14, 2011 at 9:19 am

        Where are the turn out paddocks? Do these poor animals really not get to stretch their legs, breathe fresh air, roll and socialize? That’s brutal. It’s like living in your bathroom and having no friends. Horses are vital, energetic creatures that need to be turned out with their buddies for physical and mental health.

        • Betsy
          November 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm

          Actually, from the ASPCA’s own information, it appears they require the horses to not work longer shifts than 8 hours, that they provide water stations for the horses, and that they are required to be under twice yearly vet exams, cannot work more when they take the temperature and it is over 89 degrees, or under 18, and all horses must have 6 weeks of vacation yearly. Given the cost of a good driving horse (I checked 4 websites) ranging from 3k+.. plus the carriage, plus training the animals (Training costs around 600/mo, and I imagine it’s not a 1 month thing)… and the price of a carriage ride.. I imagine they take fairly good care of them. If they didn’t, they’d need to continually replace them. And it’s not like the majority of broken down carriage horses would have a market (Most I’ve seen are grey, which any idiot knows they can’t sell for slaughter because slaughter houses won’t accept grey horses (too many cases of melanomas), or those under 800 lbs, stallions, and a variety of other restrictions it appears).

          • D, Verret
            November 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

            Don’t take greys?!?!

            That is ridiculous…..they take what they got for slaughter and HCHS. In good flesh….they roll on to the kill floor. Where is the report on not accepting “greys”? All horses have an “aftermarket”. The difference is if you pay to dump or get paid to dump.

          • Betsy
            November 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm

            all three slaughter houses closest to the NY border (In Canada) have confirmed they don’t take greys. They can’t. They sell the meat for human consumption, and they would need to do extensive exams and testing on them for skin cancer (melanomas) that grey horses sometimes get. It’s why in France they butcher them so young (usually before 3 years of age), because if they can prove that the horse is under so many months of age, they don’t have to have the test done.

          • Mustang Man
            November 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm

            HUH,The artical is well written, I addressed the person who says what is the difference of him using his carriage horse in over 89 degree temps as opposed to race horses that race in 100 degree heat. Complaining that he looses days becasue of teh ASPCA telling hinm its to hot or cold etc.

          • admin
            November 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm

            I understand now. That would have been Stephen Malone, the association’s spokesman. I’m untroubled if the cut off is 89 degrees. Presumably, ASPCA strictly enforces that. I am troubled by hooves on asphalt. I have ridden my horses in Houston during the summer on city streets and had to ride in people’s yards because the feet got too hot. I’ll never, ever, do take them on asphalt again, even in a 4th of July parade.

            The Editor

          • November 15, 2011 at 2:26 am

            Admin – I drove 16 NY summers on asphalt, and never had a bother. Our horses are shod with road shoes, either borium or drilltex or rubber. I’m not sure what you mean when you say “the feet get too hot” — what exactly occurs?

          • admin
            November 15, 2011 at 2:41 am

            Thank you for enlightening all of us on the footwear worn by NYC carriage horses. I was unaware, not being a farrier, of any special considerations for work horses on city streets. Let me preface answering your question with a statement. There are few places as miserably hot in the summer as Houston, Texas where we are based. We had regular shoes on all four hooves of our horse. Best I can tell, the shoes heated up to the point it burned the horse through the hoof. It is a fact that a human can’t stand for more than a couple of seconds on a Houston street in July or August. We will certainly never do it again.

          • D, Verret
            November 15, 2011 at 2:58 am

            I was thinking the same thing too….not that I agree with you regarding the majority posts you’ve made regarding this issue. But I know what shoes equines in urban environments use…metal shoe to hold the rubber with grips, etc. Was surprised admin/Editor doesn’t know this. IOW, it isn’t metal or bare hoof on asphalt. The heat thing as an argument bothers me too. But I still don’t believe you position is 100% correct. I also don’t believe the trade should be shut down. I think your complaint should be better debated with Bloomberg.

          • admin
            November 15, 2011 at 3:02 am

            Just to clarify. To take the horses on city streets was pure impulse.

          • D, Verret
            November 15, 2011 at 3:07 am

            You need to do more parades.

          • Lynne
            November 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

            That didn’t sound like much fun, and I cringe a little thinking about it. Street shoes, not riding shoes, would be appropriate. :)

          • D, Verret
            November 15, 2011 at 3:05 am

            Don’t know why my reply to Eva Hughes is here, but Ms Hughes…you are right about the shoes.

          • Lynne
            November 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

            As an addition to Eva’s summary of street shod horses, the shoes themselves never even actually touch the pavement. We use drilltex, sometimes borium, which does touch the pavement. Otherwise, the horse would slip, and wear the shoes down in no time. With drilltex, the actual horseshoe, and the hoof, are never in contact with the street. I’ve never, never seen a horse in distress due to ‘hot feet’, even when being hot shod, as someone else mentioned.

          • Mustang Man
            November 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm

            Idiot? I have to agree, you must in training to be one. You will need to call up Bouvrey and let him know that he doesn’t accept Grey horses as I saw 14 of them loaded into a trailer of his at a auction recently heading to his plant. Under 800 lbs? Yeh tell the 500 lb yearlings that, Stallions? 2nd highest slaughter horse behind Mares. Where did you get that from? $600.00 a month training. These horses are fully trained the day they get hitched or these guys would not be using them. They take minimum care of them like the majority of horse operators in any working field do, Note MINIMUM.

          • Betsy
            November 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm

            Grey horses are not accepted by the nearest to NYC slaughter houses. They slaughter for human consumption. There are still several illegal slaughter operations (for non-human consumption, as well as human consumption in some areas. They are having huge problems with horses being butchered in FL right now for instance) that I imagine do take greys. But those aren’t the ones that most refer to when meaning slaughter houses. Kill Buyers aren’t stupid. They are taking 30 horses (or whatever they can transport). If they can fill 30 spots with well fed and heavy horses, they do. And they have no problem filling those spots right now. Now the pathetic looking, young, miniature and ponies are wonderful for them to. They raise money for the “broker owned” horses to “rescue” them.. and ship them off to a bleeding heart who has no idea what they are buying. Usually inflating not only the purchase price, but also “vet care” as well as “quarantine” board.

            There are some Feedlots for horses in Canada, but most of them are on the other side of the continent from NYC, so it would not make much sense to send horses from NYC /area to them.

        • November 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

          Alpha Mare,

          Here is a very detailed explication of why the NYC carriage horses are living good, decent equine lives:

          Read it, look at the pictures, feel free to ask questions and THEN come back with an opinion based on facts not hysteria.

          • D, Verret
            November 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm

            No hysteria here…but I also want facts and truth, not opinion.

            And just exactly who put this link up and supports it? Disinterested parties in the carriage trade debate?

          • Joe
            November 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

            Mustang man

            You must not read or understand what you read. I am refering to your post on Nov. 14 at 10:51

            Where there were 14 head of horses weighing less than 800 lbs. These horses must have all been under 3 years old.

            Article written by Betsy on Nov. 14 at 9:21 do you not understand? It is very clear that if they are under 3 years of age that they can be processed for human consumption. Very clear to most readers. Maybe you have been kicked once to often by those mustangs or fell on your head too many times.


  25. Barb G
    November 14, 2011 at 4:02 am

    As a New Yorker born and raised, I have been aware of the carriage horse situation in my city for more than 40 years. I have seen carriage horses on busy streets, surrounded by vehicles spewing noxious gases, beeping horns, street drilling, fire engines, ambulance sirens…leaving the horse no more than 1 or two feet free space around it’s body. A horse is not supposed to be in that environment. I have been against the carriages for all these years and hope the ASPCA wins. Have you ever seen the horrid stables these horses are taken to? Have you seen the horses lined up near the Plaza, standing head to anus, in sufferable heat? Have you ever seen one of these horses keel over and be unable to get up? I have, and you never forget that. He’s lying on dirty pavement, and no one gives a damn. And this is the picture the mayor calls a part of NYC? Well yes, he would say that because it means money. To hell with the horses–let them drop and suffer breathing problems and thirst and hunger and who live in vermin-infested quarters that are cold in winter and hot in summer. I’d rather see bicycle carriages or those electric cars do the romantic bit. The horse does not belong in the tight streets and avenues of NYC or in any city. Why is it so hard for humans to be humane in their regard and use of animals?

    • Jeannie Parisi
      November 14, 2011 at 5:43 am


      • Vera
        November 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm

        Totally agree, Barb G.

    • November 14, 2011 at 5:57 am

      Are you also working to get the police horses removed from the city?

      “Head to anus”? How can that be, if there is a carriage behind each horse? And what’s wrong with horses standing in a line?

      Which horse did you see “keel over” and “unable to get up”?

      Thirst and hunger? You must be thinking of the thousands of abandoned and neglected horses all over the country, not our fit, content, and satiated horses.

      And here is another inside look at our “horrid stables”, lots of pics of our horses at work, too:

      • D, Verret
        November 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm

        Equine mounted patrols, units…nonstarter to this debate.

        However, one might argue what happens to these law enforcement officers (dogs, equines) once their tour of duty is over.

      • Justin
        November 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm

        This has absolutely nothing to do with police horses.

        This story is relevant to a private enterprise. Period.

        Police horses do not haul heavy carriages or offer rides to tourists. The comparison doesn’t even make sense. Police horses are not put away in small cells where they can’t even turn around or lay down. They are not a for profit organization. I guess you are just trying to get sympathy here by saying that carriage horses somehow do the same work or carry the same load as police horses, but it is just not so.
        Or you are trying to get sympathy by hoping that people will think of carriage horses the same as they would for police horses, but again these issues are very different.
        It’s like comparing apples to oranges, or shall I say, an abused horse to a healthy and happy horse.
        There must be a lot to gain for desperately trying to gain the public’s sympathy by thinking of police horses in this case. Or a lot of desperation in view of the public uproar due to the appalling conditions these horses are kept in or are forced to perform.

        • irism
          November 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

          Umm, until very recently, police horses were kept in standing stalls in NYC when not working (the very definition of “small cells where they can’t even turn around or lay down”)… the carriage horses have had box stalls for a lot longer than the police horses.

    • Carriage Horse Lover
      November 14, 2011 at 6:25 am

      How can the horses stand “head to anus” when they are each hitched to a carriage? Really! Instead of getting rid of the carriages, maybe NYC should do as many other famous internationally known tourist destination cities have done and ban or severely limit motor vehicle traffic in the Central Business district or around Central Park.

      In London, privately owned motor vehicles are not allowed on certain streets during posted hours unless the owner pays for a special permit in order to be able to travel on those streets.

      This helps limit traffic, and brings in added revenue to the city.And really Barb G. from YOUR DESCRIPTION, NYC DOESN’T SOUND LIKE A PLACE FIT FOR HUMANS EITHER. It sounds like NYC needs more carriages and fewer cars. Horse-drawn carriages are much more quiet than fossil fuel powered vehicles. Horse manure is biodegradabe and has never been cited as a possible cancer-causing agent– plus it is good fertilizer. With more horses, NYC could save tons of money by using horse manure rather than chemical fertilizers, which are not as environmentally friendly.

      As for the stables, I have seen the videos of them posted on Youtube by StopLiesSeeTruth. Have you seen them? I understand access is strictlimited becasue of security concerns to protect the horses from misguided RAdicals, who may try to turn them all loose as then have done with lab animals at universities.

      • irism
        November 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

        If I could like this entire comment, I would!

    • irism
      November 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      The noxious gases are horrid & you believe it is unhealthy for horses to be exposed to that? What about the millions of people living in NYC that are also exposed to these fumes? Instead of banning horses in the downtown core, why aren’t cars being banned, or at least having their numbers restricted?

    • Carriage Horse Lover
      November 22, 2011 at 7:48 am

      Fromhow you describe NYC, it sounds like people don’t belong there either.

      I have a simple solution: Do as other major cities world wide have started doing and ban or severely limit the use of private motor vehicles within the crowded CBC and around Central Park.

      In London, drivers who wish to drive their private cars on certain streats and in certain areas have to pay a fee to do so. If you limit private vehicle use in the city, you will make the air less polluted for EVERYONE, people and horses.

      What NYC needs is more carriages and fewer cars- and that includes the cheesy replicars that run on energy hungry batteries.

  26. November 14, 2011 at 3:53 am

    some deeper reporting is warranted here. The information is not adding up for this reader. Groups such as United Horseman are hell bent on destroying HSUS. I wonder if this is another such ploy to destroy ASPCA or other “radical animal rights activists” HA! as the writer above describes.

    • November 14, 2011 at 5:43 am

      Forest Horse – for the record, the Horse and Carriage Association is anti-slaughter, and has never had any contact with the UH whatever.

      On another note, I would very much like to see the demise of the HSUS, and for the ASPCA to be held accountable for its questionable activities.

    • John
      November 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm

      Forest horse

      Just how can you blame United Horsemen for destroying HSUS? HSUS has done that themselves.

      Are you another person that supports someone that uses false advertising to raise money??. HSUS says for only $19.00 dollars a month you can help. They show a sickly dog and cats, you run for your credit card. The truth is that less than 1% of your donation goes to help that dog or cat and other animals.

      Humane watch has been sucessful in getting the truth out by getting HSUS’s income tax returns them posting them on their website. just go to the website below and read for yourself. Read before you comment.There are many searches also..

  27. Carriage Horse Lover
    November 14, 2011 at 1:49 am

    Thank you so much for this fair and balanced article on the situation that NYC carriage horse owner and drivers are faicing in order to just be able to continue to perform their jobs.

    I am not an NYC carriage hrose owner or driver, but I do operate a very small carriage livery service in the Deep South. As a horse owner and as a livery service manager, I am very concerned about what is happening in NYC.

    Radical Animal Rights Activists are on record as wanting to stop the use of carriage horses world wide. There are several groups headquartered in NYC with this express goal.

    The mainstream press has been ignoring the horse owners side of the story for too long. Your publication may help make them nore fair and impartial in their future reporting.

    • Jeannie Parisi
      November 14, 2011 at 5:50 am

      I am not a radical but a horse lover and these horses do not belong on the roads of Manhattan, it is dangerous, absolutley dangerous for them. Your in the deep south and would imagine it is quite different then the streets in the Big Apple.

      • November 14, 2011 at 6:03 am

        Again, it is demonstrably safe for a horse to work in the NYC carriage industry.

        Please prove your accusations.

        Are you also working hard to get the police horses off the “roads of Manhattan”?

        • Justin
          November 14, 2011 at 7:17 am

          Eva, it appears that you might be connected with the horse carriage industry and are intend to keep horses working under the same despicable conditions. Not only the documentary Blinders shows the horrible conditions these horses are kept in, but there are also enough videos circulating and plenty of people voicing their concerns when they witnessed these horses denied access to water, proper care, and when they are stored away in cells in buildings, not even stables.
          It might have been a different story for a horse working in NYC 40, 60 years ago, but nowadays to force a horse to pull a carriage through New York is akin to trying to ride across a freeway during rush hour. Horses are highly sensitive to noise, among other things.
          Police horses are not pulling a carriage through the streets and are not denied food or water. There is a really big difference. And police horses do not have to sleep in the cells inside buildings either, or other herrendous places.
          The carriage industry is a private business operating under abusive conditions. The sad part is that by denying the abuse, some of their representatives are stating that they don’t even care about improving anything.

          • abby eleven
            November 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm

            Where do you think NY City police horses live? Um, in buildings, in stalls, in midtown Manhattan. What makes you think carriage horses are denied food and water? DO you think NYC mounted officers carry around water for their horses? NYC police horses are urban working horses, just like carriage horses. They even “live” in the same urban inner city neighborhoods. THey spend a lot more time in traffic, demonstrations and riots than any carriage horse ever has. They NYC Parks department has horses on the streets as well. There are a lot of working horses in NYC. The horses in Prospect Park in Brooklyn travel through the streets of Park Slope, crossing dangerous intersections, to get to the park. Why no complaints about any of these working horses, but only carriage horses.

          • Betsy
            November 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm

            There have been 3 fatalities of carriage horses in NYC in 30 years. Can you find another form of transportation there that has fewer ?

          • SLH
            November 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm


            First don’t take my condemnation and assume its because of lack of compassion.

            But where on earth would did you get your information?
            “Police horses are not pulling a carriage through the streets and are not denied food or water. There is a really big difference. And police horses do not have to sleep in the cells inside buildings either, or other herrendous places.

            First the NYC carriage horses live under constant supervision of the ASPCA including mandatory vet inspections of the horses and their living environments. With the ASPCA’S open admission that they would like to see carriage horses banned from the city. Don’t you think if their was any validity to the claims of abuse (lack of food or water, dangerous housing conditions) they would simple have used those things to shut them down forever ago?

            The truth is those are just farces that have been sensationalized by a few radical groups and the media.

            As for their housing do you know that the NYC police horses were excited to move to their new location so all their horses could have 10×10 box stalls vs the previous standing stalls they all lived in prior. Box stalls something that the carriage horses have had for quiet some time prior.

            I want you to care and I’m glad people do just spend some time becoming educated before you let a few pieces of irrational propoganda corrupt your common sense.

          • Justin
            November 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm

            Eva, if you even just take a look at the trailer of “Blinders”, , there are videos showing that horses have to go up a flight of stairs to the cells, with no room to turn, as well as a carriage horse trying to reach for water and being unable to do so. A police horse would have been able to drink the water because he could have positioned himself in a way to do so, but the carriage horse does not have the same freedom of movement and therefore needs more attention. In the documentary, there is a prominent veterinarian expressing her concern for the poor treatment these animals are receiving. If you go to the website:, you will read that these horses were forced to work in adverse conditions as well.
            Read on: “After years of defending their decisions to allow the carriage drivers to work in adverse weather conditions, the ASPCA has finally admitted to a lapse in judgment around Hurricane Irene: “In retrospect we feel we should have imposed the suspension earlier on Saturday to better ensure the safety of the horses.” However, the ASPCA is simultaneously shifting the blame to the city: “The city has abandoned its responsibility to monitor the carriage horse industry, and so the ASPCA has stepped in to do our best to protect these beautiful animals.” This comment is utterly disingenuous. The ASPCA has not “stepped in.” On the contrary, they have fought tooth and nail to protect their role as enforcers of humane law.”
            You can also read the article:
            Title: “An astonishing tradition of cruelty”
            Furthermore, the vet who spoke against ASCPA originally issued statements that the horse who recently collapsed in NY “was not a healthy horse and was likely suffering from pain” from stomach ulcers” and was temporarily suspended from the ASPCA from issuing these statements. Did you know that digestive ulcers are not common with work horses and are extremely painful, that they produce symptoms and can be fatal if left untreated? And why was the full necropsy report not released to the public?
            Here are more videos:
            Carriage horses in ice and snow storm
            Life expectancy of carriage horses is of half of other horses, and many end up in auctions.

          • Tess
            November 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm

            Eva Hughes not only “appears” to be connected with the horse carriage industry, she has been in the NYC horse-drawn carriage industry for 30 years, and currently is the Vice President of the NY Horse & Carriage Association.

          • irism
            November 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm

            Uh, Blinders is 100% propaganda meant to pull at the heartstrings of animal lovers who have little to no actual horse knowledge… please stop listing it as an actual credible source.

      • RockabillyCowgirl
        November 14, 2011 at 6:53 am

        Are you a horse owner? How long have you worked with horses? What is your educational background and/or training with horses? Being a horse lover does not give u an educated opinion, just like the rest of you people who love horses that no nothing about them. After you have worked with them every day of your life for over 23 years, get back to me. You just listen to what rich A holes with an agenda spew to all of you people who dont know much about horses in the first place and you eat every word they say.

        • D, Verret
          November 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm

          And BEING a horse owner doesn’t make one an educated, responsible horse expert either. I know people that have brought into the world, used, abused and dumped equines over the span of their 50 year life….doesn’t make them any better than a person that owned one or none equines.

          Then there are others that volunteer, owned one and now don’t and owned a hundred equines and do EVERYTHING right.

          • Joe
            November 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

            D. Verret

            There is hardly a site that you spew your BS. You are the most reduntant person that responds on articles, that is my opinion and a lot of others. What you say is far from the truth, it is only emotions speaking. I would guess that you aren not 50 years old but you know people for 50 years have done what you say. Talk about wasting space, you are the best!!


          • Justin
            November 14, 2011 at 9:35 pm

            Joe, 3 days after the death of the NY carriage horse, another horse spooked in NYC.
            There are many more incidents which are hidden from the public’s eyes.

          • admin
            November 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm

            Justin, we find it difficult to believe that anything that happens to horses under such scrutiny in a city of more than 8 million with surveillance cameras everywhere could be hidden.

            The Editor

          • Justin
            November 15, 2011 at 12:14 am

            Has the footage recorded by these cameras been seized to view in a court of law?
            Of course not. Then the cameras are only as good as what is made available to the public.

        • Justin
          November 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm

          The necropsy report does state that the carriage horse who recently died in NYC had an ulcer and a cracked tooth. It is a shame that these horses are just used as commodities.
          And there are already 49,976 supporters to stop the abuse of carriage horses in NY. Sign the petition:
          “Lea Michele: Exposing the truth about horses”
          Animal Angels has documented carriage horses untreated with wounds.
          And there was another accident just three hours after the vigil October 28 for Charlie Horse, when another carriage horse spooked and bolted into traffic on Central Park South.
          “A tourist from North Carolina, Philip Powell, notified the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages (who in turn notified Avella’s office) that he and his wife were walking by the carriage horse hack line on Central Park South at 11pm – not far from Columbus Circle – when one of the horses spooked and charged into traffic – running west before he made a u-turn on the congested street – dragging the empty carriage behind him. The horse then ran east on Central Park South and turned into the park at 7th Avenue where he crashed.” From:
          “Another carriage horse accident in New York”. November 4, 2011
          “Mary Culpepper, board member of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, said that as prey animals, horses are unpredictable and can spook at the slightest provocation.

          “It did not have to be a loud noise. It could have been a shadow, an odd shape or rustling leaves that terrified him and caused him to run from the source of his fear.

          “No horse is unspookable,” she said. “This accident is consistent with what is known about the nature of a horse.”

          Coalition president Elizabeth Forel said that if it had not been for “two vigilant and caring tourists and a New Yorker, the public would not have learned about this accident”.

          “We suspect there are many more accidents like this that get covered up and not reported. Horses are prey animals and nervous, by their very nature. Running from what he perceived to be a danger, he became an unwitting weapon as he tore into traffic. It is fortunate that he did not get killed or kill anyone in his panicked flight,” Forel said.”

        • Mustang Man
          November 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm

          I have been in the horse care taking role for about 40+ years now and still would not consider myself a trainer, I will bet you I have forgotten more of traiing and horses then you have learned and still know more. I would say that just because someone does not own a horse does not make them any less a expert then someone who does a expert. I have found that literely 1% at best of supposed horse trainers really are such. So what makes you a expert to make such a comment, 23 years? takes more then time to make you a expert. You have to be stupid poor to understand horses as well? Glad to know that if you came into some Money. that you would give it up so you would not be a rich a-hole and still be a expert with horses. Show me your lambskin from The Royal Andalusia School of Equestrian Art,The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art, The Cadre Noir de Saumur or The Spanish Riding School of Vienna Then you may speak of Expert of horses

          • admin
            November 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm

            Who are you addressing?

            The Editor

      • Wendell stockdale
        November 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm

        Agreed Jeannie,and we are not back in the days of the old West where we relied on horse and Carriage for transportation. The Owners of these Horses only have one thing in mind with their Horses and that’s making money at whatever exPense. This is not to say they don’t love their Horses but their Welfare is just as important and think they need to go live on a Farm in the up state New York. The Lady in the South been their as well as the East and you take Heat and Humidity and you spell disaster for your Equines.

        • Betsy
          November 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm

          Maybe the problem isn’t the carriages. Perhaps they need to ban the cars, and the ones I always get run over by.. the little rickshaw guys and bike taxis. Then they should ban the bicycles because half of them have their head up their ass. But, the group with 3 fatalities in 30 years. That I think is fairly good given their are 200+ horses at any given time there.

          A farm in upstate NY.. HAHAHAHA. Sure. Every rescue in the country is full, begging for donations because people can’t afford the pet horses they’ve taken in and can’t sell now because they never trained them, or they have health problems. But healthy horses, that have a job (with benefits and vacation time.. which is hard to get in this economy), and are under intense scrutiny to make sure that the protocols are adhered to, should be given to rescues, where they will never be ridden or driven again. That makes sense.

      • Carriage Horse Lover
        November 22, 2011 at 7:43 am

        I have visited NYC and DID ride in a carriage when I was there. It was that Christmas Season carriage ride in NYC that inspired my lifelong love of horses. I have owned, ridden,shown, driven and bred horses. Horses have been a part of my life for most of it. And now after more than 50 years, I have been able to use my knowlege and skill to provide a last life-long home for several older horses.

        My carriage livery helps make people aware that older horses are very suitable for light work, and are dependable. The fees received from the livery service are used to help maintain the horses here at my farm.

        I also am not fooled into thinking that the radicals will stop at banning horse-drawn carriages only in NYC. I have read the propaganda and realize that their goal is to eliminate all use of horses for riding and driving. If you don’t believe me, just read all of Intro 86, which has their blessing.

    • Patricia A Cornell
      November 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      I have one question: if the carriages are put out of business, what will happen to the horses?? Who will be able to feed them?? JMHO, but the kill buyers will be lining up to buy well fed, heavy horses to ship them to Canada or God forbid, Mexico, to be slaughtered.
      I am really disappointed in the apparent corruption in the ASPCA.They will give a bad name to all animal “care” orginizations.
      Yes, I am a horse person in the South. Ours do not ride if it is over 95 and only at a walk if it is over 90. We followed those same guidlines when we had a riding stable.

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