Being Groomed for Career Change at Mass. Sanctuary
Teamsters, Carriage Drivers Call on Vance to Prosecute Activist who Assaulted Driver to Fullest
New York, NY (Horse and Carriage Association of New York) – Horse and Carriage Association President Steve Malone and Teamsters Local 553 President Demos Demodoulos announced a fond farewell to Oreo, the the NYC carriage horse who was corralled on Manhattan’s Ninth Avenue after a widely-reported accident near Central Park on August 16. The horse will be traveling to his new home at Blue Star Equiculture of Palmer, Massachusetts.
In addition, Malone and Demopoulos called on District Attorney Cy Vance to prosecute Roxanne Delgado to the fullest extent of the law for her arrest on August 18, for assaulting carriage Driver Jesus Rojas at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Fifty-Ninth Street. Delgado is a member of NYCLASS, a rabidly anti carriage horse group closely associated with the ASPCA and NYC real estate interests. Over the past several months the group has conducted, and condoned the harassment, of drivers that has now escalated into assault. She was arrested for third-degree assault after kicking Rojas, who was simply trying to do his job and provide for his family.
“It’s time for DA Vance to send a clear message to NYCLASS that the harassment and attacks on hard-working, law abiding carriage drivers must come to an end,” Malone said. “By prosecuting Delgado to the fullest extent of the law, even if only for a misdemeanor charge, he can help put an end to the verbal and now physical assaults that NYCLASS has unleashed on drivers for months.”
High Profile Incident, But Only Minor Injuries to Passengers, Leg Injury for Driver, No Injuries to Horse
On Thursday August 16, Oreo, a six-year-old black and white spotted draft-cross gelding, was working his regular shift at Central Park, when a bundle of scaffolding at a nearby construction site crashed to the pavement. Startled by the unusual loud noise, Oreo reportedly bolted, still hitched to his carriage. Despite the driver’s best efforts, Oreo got away from him, and headed west on Fifty-Ninth Street in the direction of his stable. The carriage struck several other vehicles before breaking apart, with the two Australian tourists in the carriage left behind. The horse, still in harness but with no carriage attached, continued taking his regular route back to the stable before stopping behind a car waiting at a red light at Ninth Avenue and West Fifty-Seventh Street,, where he was approached by pedestrians and police officers and led to the side of Ninth Avenue.
“We have amateur video of Oreo standing patiently at the red light, en route back to the stable,” said Stephen Malone, spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association of NYC. “Oreo showed just how well-trained our horses are, even under duress”, Malone said.
The driver and the tourists were treated and released from area hospitals. The responding NYPD officers, who took charge of Oreo until the NYPD Mounted Unit could arrive, understandably not being familiar with horse harness, tied Oreo to a street pole in such a way that the horse was forced to steadily move backward. Mistaking this movement for agitation, the officers shot Oreo with a tranquilizer gun as a precaution. The horse sunk to the pavement under sedation. NYPD Mounted Unit arrived on scene, loosened the harness restricting Oreo’s movement; Oreo got to his feet and was led into a NYPD Mounted trailer, and was transported back to Clinton Park Stables.
Oreo’s Future at Blue Star Equiculture and Beyond
Oreo will be joining Blue Star Equiculture’s famous “herd” of 30 horses, many of whom are former carriage horses. “Oreo will recuperate here, as we get to know him and evaluate his eligibility for adoption”, said Pamela Richenbach, director of BSE. “As a non-profit draft horse sanctuary and organic farm, our mission is helping horses, humans and Mother Earth. We are advocates for working horses, and a young, strong, beautiful horse like Oreo certainly has a very bright future in partnership with humans”, said Richenbach.
For more information on Blue Star Equiculture: http://www.equiculture.org/carriage-horses.aspx
Pamela Richenbach, Director: (207) 468-0495
Link to amateur video cited above in quote by Stephen Malone: