Carriage horse who bolted in Manhattan may end up on Easy Street

Cross-posted from the New York Times

Oreo at Clinton Park Stable. Ángel Franco/The New York Times.
Oreo, the horse who broke free of this carriage and bolted near Columbus Circle on Thursday, at the Clinton Park Stables on Friday. Ángel Franco/The New York Times. (click to enlarge)

Written by VIVIAN YEE

Here are some introductory excerpts from Ms Yee’s report:

Oreo, the runaway horse who dumped his carriage driver and two passengers near Columbus Circle on Thursday, may have bolted his way into an easier lifestyle.

Until that moment, Oreo, a 6-year-old draft gelding, had a typical story.

Oreo, who is young by draft-horse standards, was destined to pull carriages for at least several more years. But his owner, Frank Nolan, has decided a midcareer change may be in order, said Stephen Malone, a longtime carriage driver and spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York.

Meanwhile, Oreo probably does not know that he has become a flash point in the reignited debate over New York’s carriage horses. Several animal rights groups and anti-carriage groups are backing previously proposed City Council legislation that would either ban horse-drawn carriages or replace them with “horseless carriages,” electric cars driven by the former carriage drivers.

Yee writes that Oreo may end up at Blue Star Equiculture, a draft-horse sanctuary and organic farm in Palmer, Mass., that takes in New York carriage horses.

Right now relaxing and eating seems to be the only thing on Oreo’s mind. But that may be a typical human assumption.

Yee concludes:

Oreo, for his part, had little to contribute. In his stall at the Clinton Park Stables on Friday afternoon, he tore hay from his feeder and stoically accepted the pats from the reporters and photographers who came to see him, ready, it seemed, for a quieter life.

I pray it is so. Read full report and learn about the marvelous lives they give to former carriage horses at Blue Star Equiculture.


State lawmakers call for ban on horse drawn carriages in NYC; Tuesday’s Horse; Aug. 17, 2012

3 injured when Manhattan carriage horse Oreo bolts and breaks free; Tuesday’s Horse; Aug. 17, 2012

3 injured when Manhattan carriage horse Oreo bolts and breaks free

Cross-posted from the New York Times

Written by ANDY NEWMAN

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A spooked carriage horse burst out of line near Central Park on Thursday, thundered into the busy traffic on Columbus Circle, dumped his driver and two passengers, struck two cars, shed the wreckage of his carriage and ran free for four blocks before being captured on Ninth Avenue, the authorities and witnesses said.

Three people were injured, the police said.

The horse, a 6-year-old draft gelding named Oreo who has a white and brown coat, suffered a minor scratch to his muzzle, said the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which enforces carriage-horse regulations.

The accident was the latest mishap involving carriage horses near the park. The periodic accidents, some of them resulting in serious injuries, help feed a growing campaign by advocates for animals to ban the carriage-horse trade in New York.

Read full report >>