Riding in a horse-drawn carriages is a New York City tradition of sorts — for over a century, these horse-and-buggies are a cute novelty experience for visiting tourists who want to take a relaxing ride through Central Park.
However, a recent carriage accident calls into question whether the operation is worth the strain it takes on the horses. Regulations have been put in place by the ASPCA, but it’s quite hard to enforce these rules beyond sporadic spot checks.
Bogdan Paul Angheluta, a Long Island resident, was leaving a nightclub over Labor Day weekend at 2:00 AM. He claims that he witnessed the carriage driver encourage his horse to quickly drive through a green light before it changed. The horse was too exhausted to comply.
Angheluta was concerned for the horse, 14 year old Norman, so he snapped these pictures. You can see the driver trying to stop him — but it’s clear that this poor horse is overworked! Apparently, Norman had to lay on his side and rest for 20 minutes before a group of men helped him up.
Angheluta sent the pictures of NYCLASS, an animal welfare organization, and the NYPD. On one hand, Norman’s vet, the NYC Health Department, and the NYC carriage industry all claim that Norman simply tripped. On the other hand, NYCLASS has released an official statement that claims carriage rides are simply too taxing for these horses to handle longterm, and that Mayor Blasio should enact new regulation ending the practice.
Horses are truly majestic, noble animals. Although carriage rides may be fun for families and tourists, there is a very real cost to the health and wellbeing of the horses involved.
What do you think? Should NYC take a stand against carriage riding? Should carriage operators enact better regulations to protect horses? Let us know in the comments below and please SHARE this with your friends and family.