NYC carriage horse beaten by driver after collapsing on busy street


An exhausted carriage horse collapsed during the evening rush hour in Manhattan on Wednesday — lying on the asphalt while his driver repeatedly struck him and ordered him to “get up.”

The animal’s knees buckle in video footage as the driver jerks the reins and slaps the horse in an attempt to make [him] stand on 9th Avenue and West 45th Street in Hell’s Kitchen.

“Get up! Get up! Get up! C’mon, get up,” the frustrated driver commanded as traffic backed up on the busy avenue around 5 p.m.

Onlookers were disturbed by the flogging.

“What if I slapped you around like that, bro?” one concerned bystander asked.

“Stop slapping him,” another woman was heard pleading.

“I’m trying to get him up, alright,” the driver said, as he whipped the horse with the reins twice.

The dejected horse then laid down on his side and rested his head on the street as the driver removed his carriage with the help of a pedestrian.

A group of police officers then arrived and were filmed dousing the horse with water, finally getting him on his feet after more than an hour, according to video and witnesses.

The NYPD’s mounted unit then transported the animal to an unknown location for treatment, according to police.

The incident horrified witnesses and advocates and came after a brutal extended heat wave that finally broke Wednesday.

“I saw the horse collapse. He obviously was malnourished, dehydrated, hungry. The guy started whipping his horse and telling him to get back up instead of giving him water,” Uber Eats driver Kelvin Gonzalez, 25, told The Post.

“I told him, ‘Yo, stop whipping him, give him some water. That’s a horse, not a machine.’

“It’s really sad, man. You can tell that horse was not taken care of. You can tell he was exploiting that horse. The horse was hungry, he was thirsty. You can tell the horse collapsed from the thirst.”

The horse “tried to get up like 10 times and [he] kept collapsing,” before police put “adrenaline up his butt,” Gonzalez said.

“He knocked the water down because he was so disoriented. He was out of it. He licked the water off the floor because he was so thirsty. The [driver] didn’t care. He didn’t care. He just wanted to get his horse back up so he can make more money,” the witness alleged.

Another witness told The Post the horse was bleeding from the knee and a tourist on the scene said she believed the horse had suffered from heat exhaustion.

“I told them they shouldn’t try to force the horse up. It’s just like a person you wait and make sure they get over it,” said Cathy Garfield, 75, who noted that she had grown up with horses.

“He was afraid to take the bridle off the horse because he was afraid he wouldn’t control [the horse] once [he] got up. He didn’t know a thing about horses,” she said about the driver.

“[He] tried to drink water but still had the bit in [his] mouth. I was able to convince the driver to remove the bit from the bridle. [The horse] had been trying to drink water. It’s hard when you have a big piece of metal in your mouth,” she said.

NYPD were eventually able to get the horse back on his feet, and he was taken for treatment. New York Post.

Advocates said the animal had been passed out on 9th Avenue for over an hour with no veterinary care.

Cowardly Politicians

Mayor Eric Adams, who was endorsed by the TWU [New York’s Public Transit Union], has said he does not support a carriage ban but is open to discussing the issue.

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio was an outspoken critic of the industry but his multiple attempts to enact a citywide ban on carriage horses during his two terms were halted by political opponents concerned with protecting the industry’s 200 jobs.

His predecessor, Mike Bloomberg, was an unabashed fan of the tourist-friendly business who fended off neigh-sayers that claimed the industry is abusive.

Just. Stop.

Think people! Forget the inept and immoral politicians. Would any of you take a horse drawn carriage ride? Of course you wouldn’t. Horse drawn carriages in NYC do not need a law to stop it. Residents and tourists can stop these atrocities. Just. Stop. Stop taking carriage horse rides and the industry will suffer and die — instead of the animals they horribly abuse and kill.

Bring on the eCarriage

“Phasing out the use of horse carriages and replacing them with 21st Century ‘Horseless eCarriage’ for current carriage drivers is one possible solution that will preserve employment for everyone in the industry. No one is losing a job — they are simply moving to a modern, humane alternative,” writes NYClass.

“Adoption homes will be offered to all 200 carriage horses, provided by NYCLASS, ASPCA, HSUS and numerous organizations and individuals. No horse will be sent to slaughter.” Learn more »

Related Reading

• “Collapsed horse in NYC reignites calls for carriage ban,” The Independent, 8.11.22, article and video »

• “Horses Are Not ‘Its’“.

Featured Image: New York Post.

Updated 7:10 pm EST

Tuesday’s Horse

Official Blog of The Fund for Horses

9 thoughts on “NYC carriage horse beaten by driver after collapsing on busy street”

  1. It’s time to end this horrible business. They’re sentient beings, no machines. And especially in the heat! For the love of God, just stop! Why was the horse unattended for an hour? Makes me ill…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Absolutely tragic any horse has to suffer this way. My heart breaks for these carriage horses in the heat


  3. What is the name of the driver.

    Bea Gobee

    There is a wonderful, beautiful STAR IN THE SKY, who carries the name BARBARO that is FOREVER, shining down on us and will NEVER, EVER go away. We treasure that star. Grandma Bea, Ladee Elizabeth, Remington Barbaro, Bashful, Mazda, Barbaro’s Revenge (Revi) and CJ Gobee


  4. What the heck is wrong with people.

    Shame on this driver beating this horse who is down to begin with. It should be a federal offense to allow anyone to do something like this to an animal. It should be against the law.

    Wait, let the driver be down on the ground and let u s beat him like he beat this horse.

    I am appalled at reading this and thinking that any human on the face of this earth would do something to an animal or anyone or anything that has a life.

    Shame on him. All I can do right now is sit and cry for the safety of this poor

    Bea Gobee

    Bushkill, PA 18324


    I am not going away. Something needs to be done about this. The driver should be made to pay.

    Bea Gobee

    There is a wonderful, beautiful STAR IN THE SKY, who carries the name BARBARO that is FOREVER, shining down on us and will NEVER, EVER go away. We treasure that star. Grandma Bea, Ladee Elizabeth, Remington Barbaro, Bashful, Mazda, Barbaro’s Revenge (Revi) and CJ Gobee


    1. The horse in that pic looks terribly thin in the shoulders. There is no humanity, it seems, for any animals. I am disgusted with the dumb ass ignorant people who think a carriage ride is a good idea. Totally completely selfish and oblivious not to notice the extreme heat and labor these horses endure.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The horse in in poor condition and should not being doing any kind of work or activity, let alone pull a carriage with passengers. Why are these carriage horse owners not arrested? Why did the police do nothing but report on the scene? This is shocking even for NYC.

        Liked by 1 person

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