Retired NYC carriage horse records shoddy say animal activists

Cross-posted from the New York Post

529 Carriage Horses Have Disappeared Since 2005 Banner.

The city is asleep at the reins when it comes to keeping track of retiring carriage horses, animal advocates charge.

Health Department records reveal more questions than answers — showing the whereabouts of only a handful of the 260 Central Park horses that retired between 2009 and 2014.

A review of city documents, meanwhile, reveals that in that time period 225 horses “retired” or left the industry, 28 were sold and seven died.

In dozens of cases, horses weren’t registered as retired or dead until the DOH sent letters to drivers warning of expired licenses or missing health records.

“This is a clear example of the lawlessness inherent in the carriage-horse trade,” said Allie Feldman, executive director of NYCLASS. “And sadly, because of the lack of regulations, horses go missing all the time.”

Animal-welfare activists told The Post drivers dump the horses without caring where they end up. If the steeds fall into a horse auction, they could be sold for their meat to middlemen for Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses.

Carriage operator Chantel Semanchik says it’s no one’s business what happens to the animals once they leave New York.

“If the city provided the stables, seed and hay, then the city can know where the horses go,” said Semanchik, who runs a carriage business in New Jersey and takes in retired Central Park ponies. “But these are privately owned animals. The owners have the right to do what they want.”

Read full report »

City yanks license of carriage driver who forced injured horse to work, by Yoav Gonan, May 29, 2014, New York Post

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7 thoughts on “Retired NYC carriage horse records shoddy say animal activists”

  1. Chantel Semeniuk has a NYC license but does not work in NYC. Go figure. This is how they pad the rolls and claim there are more drivers than there really are. Try 228 total – many not working the business part time, living in other states and countries. a recent article in Queens Chronicle had a driver claiming more than 1,000 jobs are on the line. The reporter was too dense to even question it.

    As for Semeniuk’s ignorant comment ““If the city provided the stables, seed and hay, then the city can know where the horses go,” said Semanchik, who runs a carriage business in New Jersey and takes in retired Central Park ponies. “But these are privately owned animals. The owners have the right to do what they want” – I say this:

    The City has infantilized these drivers for years; allowing them to get away with murder – little enforcement, except on paper; very low fees; very low insurance rates; allowing them to work in heavily congested tourist areas – with a hands off policy; renting Shamrock Stable for $5,000 monthly when the city could have collected $60,000.

    Considering all of this – I say the city has every right to know where the horses end up. I suggest that the carriage trade be relocated to the Bronx – see how many tourists you get up there. And increase the fees to match the pedicabs.


  2. Horse in picture? That’s turnout NYC style. There is no pasture. Their 5-week vacations? Many of the drivers provide their horses to the Amish farmers to work them in exchange for saying they went on a “vacation.” Scam artists and unscrupulous … the whole lot of them.


  3. The horses aren’t “missing”, they’ve been lawfully transferred. Horses successful in New York City are well trained and worth far more than what the kill buyers will pay at auction. Blue Star Equiculture, the NYC carriage horses retirement venue, has been home to at least six retired NYC carriage horses I can think of. Many more have gone on to second careers or private retirement. What’s in it for you to believe they’ve gone to slaughter?


  4. I can’t imagine the NJ carriage operator taking the attitude that it’s nobody’s business what happens to the horses. Makes you think that he has something to hide.


    1. Why should it be a matter of public record to whom one sells one’s private property? Perhaps the restrictions on search and seizure should be lifted, too, after all, only someone with something to hide would resent a search, right?
      Besides, the activists have no interest in actually helping any horse. They claim they have homes ready for all 220 carriage horses, yet refuse again and again to help ANY currently starving or slaughter bound horse. What’s being hidden is what is actually being done with all the donations they get.


      1. If selling houses is a matter of public record, why shouldn’t selling a sentient animal a matter of public record. For all it’s warts, the ASPCA was founded to protect and enforce humane laws in the mid 1800s and is successful — thankfully. Many activists actually help horses either by volunteering time and care or by donations.


  5. I will bet the missing horses were took to a auction and sold to kill buyers. There is almost no way to track them down either.


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