A horse was trapped under its carriage after it was apparently startled on its way up 8th Ave. to Columbus Circle Thursday, according to witnesses.
Around 10:15 a.m. something spooked the horse near the intersection of Eighth Avenue and 57th Street — the driver reportedly lost control and hit a car, causing the carriage to flip onto the horse, pinning its hind legs.
The driver, identified by DNAinfo as 43-year-old Frank Luo, claims the horse suddenly started “acting crazy” and kicking wildly before the accident. During the struggle the horse broke the front of the carriage and the fifth wheel, Luo said, and became trapped by the harness.
Luo and a passerby helped pull the broken white carriage off the struggling horse, whose name is Chris, and cut off the harness. The horse is in good condition, according to police, after being evaluated at a nearby stable.
Just the most recent incident involving a horse-drawn carriage, last August a six-year-old horse named Oreo broke loose from his carriage and bolted four blocks — from Columbus Circle, all the way to 57th street and Ninth Avenue.
Watch the report from August, 2012:
The horse-drawn carriage industry in NYC has been the focus of multiple protests over the years and both Mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota have said that they would ban them.
“I don’t think the horses should be there,” Lhota said in an interview with HuffPost Live, “I think we need to motorize the carriages, similar to what they’ve done in other parts.” Lhota said he could appreciate the romanticism of ride down Central Park South in a traditional carriage, but added, “I think the horses go through a tremendous amount of trauma and I think we need to think about animal rights.”
“There is simply no way to protect a 1,200 lb animal from oncoming traffic, and today’s incident demonstrates yet another reason why horse drawn carriages need to be taken off the streets now,” Allie Feldman, Executive Director of NYCLASS, an animal advocacy group, said. “Horse drawn carriages are not just inhumane and arcane, they pose a danger to the horse, the passengers and nearby pedestrians.”