MIDTOWN MANHATTAN — There are renewed calls to end the horse drawn carriage industry in Central Park after graphic video of the aftermath of a rush-hour collision circulated online.
Footage shared by the advocacy group New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets (NYCLASS) shows the horse kicking and struggling to get off the ground after regaining consciousness. Another shows the destruction and bloody aftermath of the incident. Police said it was the horse’s first day pulling a carriage in Manhattan.
The incident took place about 5:15 p.m. Thursday, when the carriage horse crashed into a black sedan. Witnesses on the scene said the horse collapsed and remained unconscious for several minutes, according to a statement from advocacy group NYCLASS.
“There is no question that this antiquated industry is a clear and present danger to horses, drivers, passengers, and people on city streets,” NYCLASS Executive Director Edita Birnkrant said in a statement. “After years of broken promises, it’s time for city leaders to take real action to end the abuses of this dangerous industry.”
Christina Hansen, the spokesperson for the city’s carriage industry, released her own statement about the incident, assuring that the horse — named Chief — was “resting comfortably in his stall at Clinton Park Stables” after being treated by a vet for scrapes and one cut that required stitches.
NYCLASS is asking that Chief be removed from duty, and is also pushing for legislation to transition away from the usage of horse carriages in the city.