Another horse forced to pull a carriage through New York City’s busy streets has been injured, following a collision with an SUV that fled the scene, according to news reports.
Paddy the horse was lugging a carriage through Manhattan when an SUV started blaring its horn and then crashed into the horse and driver while passing, around 10 a.m. near 58th Street and 9th Avenue. The terrified horse bolted toward Columbus Circle and was recaptured, with a gash on his rear leg. The driver was not harmed, according to news reports.
Police have not yet identified the individual responsible for the hit and run.
While we are grateful that Paddy is still alive, this horrific situation — and this year’s preventable casualties — underscore the constant danger faced by horses forced to pull carriages through a busy, modern city.
Other innocent horses have been harmed harmed by collisions this year, including Freddy, who got spooked near 5th Avenue and East 60th Street in June and galloped into oncoming traffic, crashing into two cars. He suffered a gash to his leg, with footage also showing the terrified horse rearing up and trying to escape while surrounding drivers honked – scaring the poor animal even more, according to the New York Post.
The city’s most recent casualty before Paddy was Ryder, a reportedly malnourished horse suffering from a neurologic disease who veterinarians estimated was between 28 and 30 years old at the time of his death — not the 13 years old falsely claimed on his papers. Ryder collapsed in Manhattan in August while pulling carriages in the middle of a heat wave, laid in the noisy street for almost an hour, and required emergency treatment by first responders and veterinarians. Ryder has since died; may he rest in peace.
The gruesome death and injuries of New York City horses in the brutal carriage industry have catalyzed legislators to sponsor Int 573-2022, a bill that would replace all horse-drawn carriages with low-speed, electric carriages by 2024.
But that lifesaving and much-needed legislation has been in the New York City Council’s Committee on Health since July.
The recent casualties are not anomalies. At least seven horses in the NYC carriage industry have died, while accidents have harmed at least 30 horses in recent years, according to New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets (NYCLASS), a nonprofit animal rights organization focused in part on saving NYC carriage horses.
The streets of a fast-paced, densely populated modern city are not a humane place for horses and this cruel industry must be phased out for safer and more compassionate alternatives that will still afford a living wage to transportation workers — as the proposed legislation entails.
If you haven’t already, please sign our petition urging NYC legislators to join the growing number of cities that recognize the inherent cruelty of the horse-drawn carriage industry by banning this outdated practice.