SOUTH SALEM, Westchester (PIX11) – The founders of The Gentle Barn Animal Sanctuary are planning to open their fourth location in South Salem, Westchester and said they want to strike a deal to replace New York City’s Horse and Carriages with electric carriages.

Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner are now fundraising to finalize the purchase of the farm and said they hope to make a safe place for horses that can no longer work pulling carriages. Laks and Weiner said they had talks with the Central Park hansom cab drivers back in August.

Laks and Weiner currently have one of the electric carriages they said they would like to trade for a horse. It can travel up to 25 miles per hour and is fully heated inside.

Laks told PIX11 News, “they can offer us their horse, and we can offer them an electric carriage. We’re hoping that they will come and sit down at the table with us and kind of think of it as a win-win. We believe that electric carriages will make way more money than horse-drawn carriages.”

However, Christina Hansen, a spokesperson for the Central Park horse and carriage drivers, told PIX11, “their horses don’t need rescuing” because she said they’re not mistreated. As for whether she and others would trade their houses for electric carriages?

Hansen said, “there’s no way we would ever trade our horses for a machine. We have no interest in driving an electric golf cart around the park or in the streets because we are horse people.” 

The electric carriage is not yet street-legal, but Laxs and Weiner say they are working on it. 

You can learn more about The Gentle Barn at gentlebarn.org.