Collapsed NYC carriage horse Ryder was malnourished and older than reported

Thank you everyone for keeping Ryder’s story alive. At last, someone is reporting on Ryder’s condition and pointing out what we all saw immediately. Thank you New York Post.

The NEW YORK POST reports:

The struggling carriage horse that collapsed on a busy Manhattan street earlier this month was malnourished, underweight — and much older than previously reported, a police report obtained by The Post shows.

The carriage driver Ian McKeever told cops on the scene that Ryder was “a 13-year-old gelded Standardbred.”

An initial diagnosis determined that the horse is 28-30 years old rather than the aforementioned 13-years-old, that [he] was malnourished, underweight and suffers from the equine neurological disorder EPM.

The steed, named Ryder, was examined by a veterinarian in the wake of the Aug. 10 ordeal after the sick animal buckled on Ninth Avenue and West 45th Street — then lay there for more than an hour as his driver struck him and screamed for him to get up.

Ryder has stayed at West Side Livery stables in Manhattan.
by Robert Miller

“An initial diagnosis determined that the horse was 28-30-years-old rather than the aforementioned 13-years-old, that he was malnourished, underweight and suffers from the equine neurological disorder EPM (Equine Protazoal Myeloencephalitis),” cops wrote in their report.

“Additionally, the horse suffered superficial abrasions to its legs as a result of [his] collapse.”

The carriage driver, Ian McKeever, had told cops on the scene that Ryder was “a 13-year-old gelded Standardbred,” the police report said.

The Transport Workers Union (TWA) did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on Monday regarding the horse’s age and health.

Read about EPM.


It is heartbreaking that this sick, old horse is being made to work in all weathers, living in appalling conditions, underfed.

Ryder’s ordeal sparked immediate outrage from animal rights groups and prompted calls from lawmakers for prosecutors to file animal cruelty charges and launch a criminal probe into wider carriage horse abuse.

A witness who spotted Ryder in Central Park hours before his troubling collapse had recalled seeing the horse “in distress” and “having trouble walking.”


But Christina Hansen, a shop steward at TWU, later dismissed that witnesses account, saying the claims were “unlikely.” She also said animal advocates, including the anti-horse carriage group NYCLASS, had a history of drumming up abuse claims against the industry “without proof.”

As the decades-long fight to ban carriage horses has gained steam in recent months, union officials and insiders continue to claim the iconic horses are well cared for.

Well cared for? Without proof?

Well cared for? This is the lie that will not die.

Without proof? It can be witnessed virtually every single day.

Hansen’s attitude is predictable and typical. There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the life of a NYC carriage horse is harsh and cruel.

Hansen and her comrades are clearly morally bankrupt. More critically, it appears they are unable to discern what is and is not abuse, therefore they should be banned from being in control of any animal and their licenses to operate horse drawn carriages revoked. They are animal abusers and deserve nothing.

For more lies and denials by Hansen & Co go to full article »

In the meantime, New York lawmakers should be be ashamed, very ashamed, that they have allowed this to go on year after year. Where are your balls? Oh, look.

Hansen and Co. could keep their jobs with the banning of horse drawn carriages because of electric carriages. Does not seem right does it? Look.

Electric Carriage Bill

OUR TOWN reports:

Last month, Queens Council Member Robert Holden introduced a bill that would replace the 68 horse carriages in Central Park with 68 electric carriages by June 1, 2024. Holden’s bill, Intro 573, is the latest in a long string of proposals to retire Central Park’s horses.

According to Holden’s spokesperson Kevin J. Ryan, “The Councilman feels that there is no reason, in this modern age, to continue using horses this way. It’s not a good life for them. It also causes public safety issues. Horses can get plenty of exercise without being forced to pull tourists around in an urban environment.”

Animal rights groups, most notably New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS), have long alleged that the Central Park horses are mistreated. Although the horses are banned from working in temperatures above 90 degrees — thanks to legislation the City Council passed in 2019 — there have been reports of horses suffering from heat exhaustion this summer.

On August 11, NYCLASS tweeted a video of a fallen horse, with the caption: “URGENT: Carriage horse collapsed in distress right now at 45 St/9th Ave unable to get up, likely from heat distress … This horse may die, like many others. We must pass Intro 573 to end this abuse!” Holden, NYCLASS, VFAR and PETA released a joint statement calling for the horse, named Ryder, to be retired to a certified sanctuary.

Earlier this year, in late May, NYCLASS shared a separate video of a fallen horse being dragged on the ground by two men.

The bill drew immediate backlash from the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents the carriage drivers. The union maintains that the horses are well taken care of. According to Pete Donohue, a spokesman for TWU Local 100, “Every expert who’s looked at this has concluded that these horses are well cared for, are treated humanely and are in good health and get excellent care.”

In the past, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the New York State Veterinary Medical Society have endorsed Central Park’s horse carriages.


This sort of pigheadedness defies belief. Go away.

By the way, a scandal rag in the UK called the Daily Mail writes, “The Central Park carriage horse who collapsed after tripping is ‘on the mend’ and collapsed due to parasite in [his] brain”. What? The only parasites we see are the carriage horse owners and drivers. And the politicians who refuse to get rid of them.


See Vet says carriage horse that collapsed in Manhattan should not have been working,” The Gothamist, Aug 22nd, 2022

See alsoCentral Park carriage horse euthanized after collapse; City Officials call for investigation amid public protest,” NBC New York, Feb 29th, 2022

Featured Image of Protesters: New York Post

Tuesday’s Horse

Official Blog of The Fund for Horses

4 thoughts on “Collapsed NYC carriage horse Ryder was malnourished and older than reported”

  1. Anyone who looked at the photos of poor Ryder would observe how thin, emaciated he was -ribs, shoulder, etc.-it is beyond cruel for him to be pulling a carriage- let alone the fact that he has EPM. My concern is that he will be forgotten- sent to slaughter- instead of being retired as he should be.! the carriage drivers are cruel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Sharon. It is a despicable industry no matter where it happens, what city or what country. And there is an alternative . . . . e-carriages to take tourists around. Electric carriages are popping up all over the places overseas. It is cleaner and eco friendly. And the current carriage horse drivers could be given first refusal so they still have a living. Not that we care about these animal abusers personally, but it shuts up most of the naysayers that cry their crocodile tears that drivers will lose their livelihoods if we shut the carriage horse businesses down. In the meantime, we have an investigator working to track down Ryder.


    2. We share your concerns, and pray someone comes forward and finds the owner, gets in touch with him, takes Ryder off his
      hands, heals, rehabilitates and cares for this dear soul.


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