By Gregg McQueen | Manhattan Times News | 8th Sept ’22
Central Park horse carriage drivers are pushing for a new stable and better safety measures in the wake of a highly-publicized collapse of a horse last month.
Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, the union representing 130 carriage drivers in the city, has released a “Big Heart” platform advocating for better oversight of the industry.
Drivers are in a fight to preserve their livelihoods after a carriage horse named Ryder collapsed from heat exhaustion on a midtown street on August 10. Captured on viral video, the incident distressed animal-loving activists and celebrities, as well as city lawmakers, some of whom renewed the call to ban the horse carriages.
Currently, there are 68 licensed horse carriages allowed to operate in New York City.
While the rides around Central Park are popular with tourists, the industry provides jobs that help blue-collar workers “put food on the table, pay their rent, and send their kids to college,” said TWU representative Pete Donohue.
“The union is also deeply invested in making sure these horses have the best care, and making sure their health and wellness is taken care of,” Donohue said at a press conference on September 2.
The union is calling upon the city to create a new stable near 86th Street, provide additional training for drivers, and hire a full-time veterinarian to look after the horses.
Though the city’s Health Department once had an equine veterinarian who would visit stables and check on the horses, that position has been vacant for more than a year, drivers said. Read more »
“The union [TWU] is also deeply invested in making sure these horses have the best care . . . .” WHAT? Get out of town.
NYC’s carriage horse owners and drivers would not be considering making any changes at all, if the case of the downed, suffering Ryder had not exposed the industry for what it actually is to millions — horrific animal abuse.
We keep being drawn back to this as well.
How is it that the police officers who stood there and watched, then intervened and helped the downed and ailing Ryder back to his feet, then left him in the hands of his abuser? We do not know the law of course. But we wanted an answer. It bothered us so much that we tried asking NYPD, but received no answer to date.
Ban horse drawn carriages everywhere not just New York City. Replace them with cleaner, safer e-carriages.
Urgent question. Where do the suddenly out of work, displaced carriage horses go? It is imperative to us that this is part of any ban.
Another one is . . . . where is Ryder? And is he dead or alive?
Featured Image: Gothamist. Post Updated 5:05 pm EST
“Why this driver wasn’t charged immediately I don’t understand! He made a public display of his abusive behavior (imagine when nobody is around); and the horse has obviously been neglected. The heat and humidity that day was awful and yet he had him out there with no regard for Ryder’s health and safety. Keep up the good fight Councilman Holden; this needs to be stopped!” By NK47, 15th Aug 2022
• Carriage horse was ‘in distress’ hours before collapsing on NYC street: witness, New York Post, 15th August, 2022 »
• Carriage horse Ryder quietly taken out of city, AM New York, 17th August, 2022 »
• Home free? Animal rights group locates carriage horse Ryder, but says his farm isn’t a sanctuary, AM New York, 30th August, 2022»
• Poll: 71% of New Yorkers want horse carriages banned following Ryder’s collapse, New York Post, 2nd September, 2022 »
Updated 3rd September, 2022
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