NYC carriage horse stable argues that bare, cramped, filthy stalls are not animal abuse

NEW YORK, N.Y. (Carriage Horses) — There are already many valid reasons and obvious examples why we must rid U.S. cities of the horse drawn carriage trade.

Not that we need another example, but here is yet another one, this time in New York City, which clearly demonstrates that it needs to put an end to its horse drawn carriage business.

The New York Post filed the following image and report on June 1, 2017:

A worried city building inspector snapped a photo of a carriage horse inside her “filthy” stall on Manhattan’s West Side — but the stable owners insist that the huge pile of manure is simply what the animal would produce in four-to-six hours.

The inspector — who is asking not to be named — is claiming animal abuse.

“The stable is filthy. It’s tiny. The horse almost can’t even stand up in there,” the outraged whistle-blower told The Post.

The inspector stumbled on the stinky stall on May 17 while checking the conditions of the building structure at Westside Livery Stables, Inc., on West 38th Street.

He was not there to assess the sanitary or health conditions of the horses, which is done by the Health Department.

But the inspector said he felt compelled to take a cellphone snapshot when he saw the conditions.

“The stable looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years. It got so crammed up that the horse would have a hard time getting up,” he said.

The inspector said the horse was also lying on a hard floor with little hay for cushion.

But a rep for the stable gave a resounding “Neigh” to any abuse claims.

“I dare say whoever took this picture and thought there was something `wrong’ with it is not a horse person, nor were they interested in learning from someone here at the stable who is,” said Christina Hansen, a spokeswoman for the stables who examined the photo.

“This is a totally normal horse stall, prior to mucking by one of our stablemen, most likely in the morning. Sophia the horse here is shown comfortably lying down in her 9’ x 10’ box stall,” she said.

Horse sh*t. Hansen is delusional. None of what we can see in the picture filed with this report is normal or fitting. Poor Sophia looks anything but comfortable. She looks miserable.

Anyone who thinks that this an acceptable way to care for horses should be banned from having them in their control. This is animal abuse. Sophia is virtually lying on bare concrete next to piles of feces, and no doubt urine too.

PIX 11 News reports that the activist group NYCLASS gathered outside the West 38th Street stables the following day, June 2, to protest the conditions the horses are kept in. The group says it “hopes” for a “one-on-one meeting with the Department of Health to discuss ways to improve the overall quality of life of carriage horses”.

I know they mean well, but that sounds like even more horse sh*t.

New York City needs to clean up its act and rid itself of its cruel and outdated carriage horse trade. This insidious business is never going to treat its horses well because the people in it are not only totally out of touch with a horse’s most basic needs but totally uninterested.

What horrifies us in this case is clearly business as usual to the folks at Westside Livery Stables.  They see nothing that needs changing. Worse still, it appears they think they are doing a good job!

How about some arrests and fines or citations for the abuses these people are committing?

If the Health Department conduct inspections that means they have guidelines. Are there no penalties when people fail to adhere to Health Department standards?

In the meantime, we thank the inspector who reported the sad conditions Sophia is living in. It took courage. It has been our experience over the years that there are plenty of people who work in the carriage horse industry who are ruffians and bullies. They are also often retaliatory and prone to violence.

West Side Livery Stable (left) in Hell's Kitchen has been stabling horses for over 150 years. Time for a change don't you think? Google search result. Unattributed image.
West Side Livery Stable (left) in Hell’s Kitchen has been stabling horses for over 150 years. Time for a change don’t you think? Google search result. Unattributed image.

We are investigating what action we can take on behalf of carriage horses in cities and circumstances like these in New York. Attempts to reform the horse drawn carriage industry to improved the lives of the horses over the past 15 years has failed.

Please help. Share your thoughts and ideas. Let’s bring an end to this once and for all.

Last updated 6/3/17 7:33 pm EST.

Unsanctioned horse racing flourishing in rural Colorado

DENVER, Colorado. KDVR FOX31. Chris Halsne and Chris Koeberl reporting. (May 18, 2017)  — Hidden cameras capture doping, gambling and abuse of horses as regulators, politicians, and law enforcement turn a blind eye. Go to full investigative report »

It’s Easter Sunday outside the Deer Trail Rodeo grounds.

Armed teams of private security in flak jackets set up a road block searching passengers and vehicles. What they are looking for is unclear, but alcohol and beer are allowed to pass. An Arapahoe Sheriff’s deputy drove by slowly on the street outside the stadium, but did not stop.

By early afternoon, approximately 500 spectators are lined up along metal railings near a long, manicured dirt track.

They were drawn here by an online advertising push from a company calling itself Parejeras Racing USA.

A Spanish language flyer promised 10 “match-races,” with prize money in the thousands of dollars.

At first glance, the horse races looked much like the legal, sanctioned ones held at Colorado’s only licensed horse race facility, Arapahoe Park in Aurora.

Jockeys, in colorful silk, mounted muscular Quarter horses draped with matching blankets embossed with large numbers. Handlers helped guide the horses and riders to a metal starting gate.

As the horses charged down the straight-away, it became apparent, there were few rules.

Whipping of the animals was harsh and nearly nonstop.

In one race, a jockey veered his horse into another competitor. The high-speed ramming pushed the thundering beasts toward spectators standing within inches of the track, including children.

In two other races, jockeys lost their balance and went tumbling among the hoofs of other race horses.

Problem Solvers, working with knowledgeable insiders, acquired hidden camera footage of not only the races, but all the activities happening just off the track.

Audio and video recordings show plenty of cash being wagered on horses. Continue reading at source »


Image source: KDVR.
Image source: KDVR FOX31.

The drugging of the horses is rampant and potentially lethal.

Hidden camera footage revealed a brown liquid being injected into a racehorse’s neck who moments later was entered into the starting gates and raced.

The liquid in the syringe was described as “ ‘typically a cocktail of stimulants’ to ramp up the horse’s heart – to get it to run faster”.

Equine veterinarian Bruce Connelly stated, “I’ve seen match-race horses run blind. Break themselves up because of stuff that was put in ‘em that shouldn’t have been.”

Local Law Enforcement

The problem is, the report points out, is that law enforcement and the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees some 1,400 pages of racing regulations, can take action only in sanctioned horse races. Adding “it seemed impossible to FOX31 that such a large event, widely advertised and attended by so many people could go unnoticed by local politicians.”

Oh, it hasn’t gone unnoticed by local politicians or law enforcement. They have either turned a blind eye to it like that Arapahoe Sheriff’s deputy who drove slowly by and didn’t stop, or profited by it, or both.

What about the Mayor?

According to state records, Deer Trail mayor, Kent Vashus is the “registered agent” of the Deer Trail Jockey Club. The Jockey Club is one of the oldest non-profits in Colorado and owner of the Rodeo grounds where the unsanctioned Easter races were held.

Vashus admitted to the FOX31 Problem Solvers he had allowed Parejares Racing USA to use the Rodeo grounds for races in the past. Records show he approved at least fourteen “Mexican Horse Races” in Deer Trail since 2015.

There is much, much more including video reports. This is an in-depth undercover report and one of the best we have seen in a very, very long time.

Take Action Colorado Residents

The Governor

Contact the Governor and register your concern using his online form.  Ask him to take immediate action against unsanctioned horse racing and the horrific abuses of the horses used for it.  Notwithstanding the horses, onlookers including children are put at risk of injury and even death. Share this shortened link to the full KDVR investigative report with him —

Colorado General Assembly

The Colorado General Assembly adjourned May 10, 2017 and reconvenes January 10, 2018.

(1) Contact your individual legislator stating this is an important issue to you and you wish to see it on the next Session’s agenda. Share this shortened link to the full KDVR investigative report —

(2) Contact the following Colorado lawmakers urging them to place this issue on the next Session’s agenda and enact all laws necessary to make these unauthorized races illegal. Be sure to share the link to the full KDVR investigative report —

• Speaker of the House, Cristanta Duran (
• House Majority Leader, K.C. Becker (
• House Minority Leader, Patrick Neville (

• President of the Senate, Kevin Grantham (
• Senate Majority Leader, Chris Holbert (
• Senate Minority Leader, Lucia Garcia  (

Oh, and throw that unscrupulous Mayor of yours Kent Vashus out on his ear next election Deer Trail residents.

The image of the horse looking out from under the stands was taken at the Deer Trail Rodeo Grounds and is used here for illustrative purposes only. The image was not filed with the source report.

Collapsed carriage horse in NY sparks calls for investigation

CARRIAGE HORSES (New York City) — Confronting images of a horse said to be collapsing in Central Park last week sparked cries for an investigation into the horse’s welfare Monday.

However the city advised the horse, named Max, had only tripped, and he was due back at work.

New York animal rights group NYCLASS said bystanders reported that a white carriage horse began breathing heavily before collapsing on the ground just before 10 a.m. Tuesday Feb. 21 near Tavern on the Green in the park.

The group provided images of the incident it said was taken by eyewitnesses. It believed the horse had just started its shift pulling carriages for the day.

Photos showed the horse first kneeling on the ground, and then fully splayed out on its side on the road.

Carriage driver Chris Emanus put the horse, named Max, back to work on Monday, insisting he’d been cleared by a vet. Continue reading at NBC New York »


Emanus claimed “the equine had simply tripped because he was wearing horseshoes for the time in eight months after returning to the city from a farm.”

Um, getting new shoes does not cause heavy breathing and collapse. This should be investigated and his license taken away for lying and covering up abuse if this should be so proved. — TH


Tweet the Mayor demanding an investigation @NYCMayor and @BilldeBlasio. See also Facebook page at to leave a comment. Contact the Mayor’s Office at


Calgary Stampede sends cast-off horses to slaughterhouse

Bronco horse throws rider at the Calgary Stampede. Unattributed Google search result.

The facts coming out about the Calgary Stampede get grimmer and grimmer. You can add slaughter to the list of the Stampede’s crimes against horses. Not that this is a surprise to anyone. The surprise is that the Stampede veterinarian himself admitted it.

Back in 2012 CTV News reported that the Stampede admittedly send horses to slaughter.

“For the first time, the Calgary Stampede is admitting that horses that don’t make the cut to compete in the famous rodeo are sent to an Alberta slaughterhouse for meat.

Nearly 100,000 horses are sent to slaughterhouses in Canada every year. Horses that fail to qualify for the stampede are among them, stampede officials admitted.

Every year at the Calgary Stampede ranch, horses are bred and trained to become the top bucking horses in the world.

Of the 500 horses at the ranch, some will go on to compete in the annual stampede, others will be sent to smaller rodeos throughout North America and others will see a less glorious fate.

Those who fail to make the grade are sent to a slaughterhouse in Fort McLeod where they are killed for meat, most of which is exported.

Greg Evans, the veterinarian for the stampede, told CTV News that close to 20 horses will be sent to the slaughterhouse each year.”

Of course it is the horses’ fault they do not make the cut and sent off to a grisly end in an abattoir. Supposedly the training they are given which is brutal makes them scared and dangerous to be around makes them unsuitable for re-homing elsewhere.

Is it possible they can be rehabilitated? Perhaps. Most abused animals can — given time and patience.

In comments to the article Cindy Bray states:

“Semi-feral horses should not be a problem considering completely feral horses can be domesticated. This is how the west was won. Shame on the Calgary Stampede, your ignorance is showing again. . .”

But why bother to try when you can dump them in a slaughterhouse and stick some cash in your back pocket to boot. The broncos who are injured? Yep, off to the slaughterhouse they go too.

It is heartbreakingly obvious that horses who are bred to be broncos for rodeos such as the Calgary Stampede have little to no hope in hell from the time they are foaled until the time they die of having even a hint of a decent life. It is full from beginning to end with pain, suffering and brutality.

In another comment Felicia MacEachern states:

“I testify for hundreds of people in North America who rescue ex-race horses of all breeds from slaughter to re-train for rodeo competitions, because we have passion for these animals!”

What? Can you imagine surviving horse racing and then be put to work in a rodeo?

The Calgary Stampede rodeo runs July 8 – 17

Blood is on the hands of every person who buys a ticket to the Calgary Stampede or any rodeo.

Do you know of a success story of a former bronco horse who has been rehabilitated and given a decent shot at life? We would love to hear from you. Contact us here.

Stampede discounts admission to boost attendance; CTV Calgary News; July 14, 2016

Unattributed Google search result.