Carriage Night-Mare Continues As Horse Falls Near Central Park (Video)

screen shot 2011 12 05 at 10 08 33 am Carriage Night Mare Continues As Horse Falls Near Central Park (Video)

The white Percheron carriage horse that fell/collapsed near Central Park yesterday. (Screenshot from video by Mary Xanthos from Win Animal Rights)

A carriage horse slipped and fell near Central Park yesterday afternoon, raising more accusations from both animal rights groups and the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City.

Around 4 p.m. yesterday on Central Park South and 59th Street, a white carriage horse tripped and fell. While no one was hurt, New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets (NYCLASS), an advocacy group, stated the horse “collapsed” in a press release. The association, in turn, responded in their release that groups like NYCLASS are “making his minor tumble out to be a major incident.” 

The association stated that the horse is back at his stall and resting after being inspected by American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). ASPCA said in a statement yesterday that they will be investigating the incident. “At this time, the horse has been suspended pending a veterinary exam and won’t return to work until the exam is completed,” the statement continued.

While the horse was “determined to be healthy, alert and no worse for his brief moment in the activists’ spotlight,” the association will be calling in their private vet, their release said.

However, NYCLASS believes the fall (or collapse?) was another example of why the city is unfit for horses. “During this busy season, horses are worked harder than ever,” said Carly Knudson, executive director of NYCLASS.

But the horse association’s president Stephen Malone said that horses trip and fall all the time.

“The carriage industry in New York City is such a public institution that a horse can sneeze funny and some activist is in our faces with a camera to post footage to YouTube,” said Mr. Malone in the press release. Mr. Malone implied that advocacy groups like NYCLASS and Win Animal Rights, which posted a video of the incident, are happy about the fall.

“These radical animal rights people just live for moments like this. They’re giddy over it. I see they’ve already copyrighted the video,” said Mr. Malone.

The fall is just another incident in the long war for the city’s carriages. Along with several of the city’s politicians, NYCLASS is pushing to pass Intro. 86A, a City Council bill that increases restrictions on horse carriages and eventually replace them with “horseless carriages.” The association, for their part, has accused the ASPCA of a “glaring” conflict of intrest because of their involvement with NYCLASS activities.

Here’s a video of the horse following the fall/collapse (Warning: Video is graphic, and not quite a Monday Morning pick-me-up) :


  1. Predictably, Mr. Malone–in his role as an industry spokesman–is glib and brushes this latest incident aside. He has more excuses than Bloomberg has dollars.  I would remind,  despite Malone’s attempt to marginalize advocates by characterizing them as “radical,” and the Observer’s willingness to quote him saying it, that a number of recent accidents have been documented by tourists or New York City residents.  To refresh your memory, a resident of W. 54th Street (Mr. Miller snapped the disturbing image of Charlie, who collapsed and died Oct. 23 on W. 54th Street. On October 28, a horse spooked and raced headlong into traffic on Central Park South before turning into the park and crashing his carriage; a visitor from North Carolina and a local resident saw this disturbing sight and the gentleman from NC took pictures. On Nov. 4, a resident who also happens to be a local activist captured on video the collapse of a horse named Luke; it happened next to the Mandarin Oriental hotel/Shops at Columbus. Sunday’s accident was witnessed by activists, tourists, and residents alike. Residents, in fact, can barely turn around without seeing another horse down in the street.

    1. Cindy says:


  2. Jigaword says:

    That is not a trip and fall. Enough with this garbage already. The horse could barely get up.

  3. Jiga says:

    Bloomberg should be ashamed of himself. Same with Christine Quinn. They are clearly scared of the unions! pussyS!

  4. Nicahorse says:

    Mr. Malone is obviously very knowledgeable about horses and their well- being. Especially since horses can’t sneeze…. Its so terrible what is happening to these horses. 

  5. Anja says:

    ”But the horse association’s president Stephen Malone said that horses trip and fall all the time.” Well, if horses trip and fall in NYC traffic all the time, that should be enough of a reason to get them out of the city. I’m sure tripping and falling on grass is nicer. And why exactly do these NYC carriage horses trip and fall all the time? Could it be that they are old, overworked, too cold, too hot and exhausted from breathing exhaust fumes all day long while hauling tourists around. I have been around horses for 20 years and I don’t seem to remember my horse or horses I have been around, tripping and falling all the time.

    1. Bob Pomilla says:

      Perfectly put. Malone’s own words damn his industry.

    2. Cindy says:


  6. Equineyoga says:

    As a long time rider and equestrienne I know for a fact that horses do NOT “trip and fall all the time”. Occasionally yes but not “all the time”! Give me a break! And as an equine welfare activist I am in no way happy or “giddy” about these incidents. They sicken and discourage me! Does this tool really think that we activists are thrilled to see animals suffer?!

    1. Docnoir says:

      Right on. I too am a rider and no healthy horse falls without a reason. It’s time to retire these horses to a pasture for a well deserved respite. They’ve earned it. The whole carriage industry should be retired for good. These conditions are unacceptable. I understand the Emperor Mike Billionaire’s daughter’s ride – perhaps they should be the face of the anti-carriage horse movement if they care so much about horse flesh!

      1. i am not for horse slaughter and please excuse my ignorance but thats why i am asking, if they retire these horses (and yes i am for the horses being rested and actually be loved and cared for), wont they just send em to mexico or canada to make money off of em? thats why theres a big fight over this issue is fr the money. how would we prevent that outcome IF that is the outcome?

      2. Cindy says:


      3. Bob Pomilla says:

        All the bills that have been introduced in the New York State and New York City legislatures, that would remove these horses from the streets, mandate that the horses be turned over to qualified rescues and retirement homes. So no, if any of these bills giving the horses surcease, were to be enacted, none of them would go to the killers, which is often their fate, right now, once every last penny and drop of blood and strength has been squeezed from them.

      4. Michelle, current law–at the industry’s behest–requires no accountability and allows the horses to be dumped at auction NOW.  Auctions often are attended by kill-buyers and a fast-track to slaughter.  Approximately 60-70 NYC carriage horses simply disappear from the Department of Health’s rolls every year. They just vanish.  Some, like Bobby II Freedom, were found at auction.

  7. Mariah Kelly says:

    New York continues to be a rotten apple when it comes to animals, especially these abused carriage horses. What’s it going to take Bloomberg, a dead tourist or two to get your full attention? What is it going to take for you to do the right thing????

  8. Ginasorrentino says:

    Excuse me radical animal rights activists? Why are they called that really? They are out there putting info out to people who may otherwise not know what’s going on. We have proffesionals that speak for the rights of children and elderly. Who’s to say there shouldn’t be anyone to bring information of an animal being mistreated or abused to our attention. Its a wonderful thing when society can come together to help….whether that be for our two legged friends or four. I say go on all animal rights groups….put the information out there. Do what ur heart head tells you. :)

  9. Drisley says:

    You’re delusional, Mr. Malone.  I am not
    “radical”, nor am I an “activist” in the ugly vein that you are
    trying to convey. I am just a NYC citizen and I care deeply for the welfare of
    these horses after years and years of watching them and never seeing the
    conditions improve.  It may seem radical
    to you because you don’t like the challenge, but frankly I don’t care.  As  a leader you have failed.  Your organization has been repeatedly asked to
    take responsibility for these horses – to at the very least get them the same
    care as the city’s police horses.  You
    have failed, plain and simple.  People
    aren’t going to stand for it anymore.  Red
    tape is only going to get you so far.  Spinning
    the issues is only going to get you so far. 
    Attacking your fellow citizens with slander is only going to get you so
    far.  As for being giddy over it – I see
    no one laughing.  No one, except perhaps you, in your desperate attempt to
    minimize the voices of the caring citizens.

    1. omg thank you! you just said what many are too scared to say! :) theres no way i coulda said it better!

    2. Cindy says:


  10. Bkcutie1982 says:

    This abuse needs to stop ASAP. All animal abuses need to stop if they can’t speak out we will do it for them!!!!

  11. Animal rights activists are never happy to see an animal suffer.  What a horrible statement.  If they were happy to see an animal suffer then they would jump on a carriage and giggle as it falls, not educate the world on the mistreatment of animals in a business that just isn’t working anymore.  Horses do not belong in NYC as tour guides.

    1. Cindy says:


  12. Deborah says:

    Ms. Sanders: why do you twice state the claim that the horse “tripped (or “slipped” which is not the same thing at all) and fell when this is clearly not the case. A horse that fell down accidentally would be getting up or trying to get up. Look at the video of this horse simply lying there in an obvious state of collapse. Simply parroting words that put the best possible spin on the situation and set the tone for the whole article: that’s not journalism at its best, now, is it? 

  13. Patty Burkhart says:

    My husband and I were at the corner of 50th Street and 5th Avenue on Friday evening.  A horse almost fell there as well, but collected himself and moved on.  It was very upsetting to see this.  BLOOMBERG — you STINK!  You are the mayor of OUR city and all you care about are the tourists?  STOP IT NOW!

    1. Cindy says:


  14. Disgusted NY'er says:

    Using horses as a means of transport and for law enforcement may have worked in the 1800’s and early 1900’s but this is the 21st century and there is no place for these horses in NYC in any capacity!
    There is clearly a problem here and it must be addressed before more horses collapse to their death.
    Enough excuses! DO SOMETHING!

  15. Gigi Vasquez says:

    “making his minor tumble out to be a major incident.”
    of course its a major incident idiot!!!!

  16. Whatnowcustoms says:

    horse tripped and fell it did not collapse. i used to work around the
    corner from where all these horses are kept and they are very well taken
    care of and loved by their owners. that video disgusts me cause it does
    not show the whole event just the horse
    being down. i suggest that you all go actually research and inform
    yourselves about horses before you comment about how they are cared for.
    if any of you were there for this event do not say you know about
    horses or you would have been one of the people jumping in to help it up
    and not standing there calling people names. that showed that those
    protesters did not care for that animal if they cared they would have
    put down the camera and helped.

  17. Verush says:

    Mr. Malone should be aware by now that activists photographed this horse working shortly after the accident shackled to a DIFFERENT carriage!  Resting, waiting for the vet? . . . don’t think so!  And the indifference and callousness of the drivers who went by this horse as it lay there, pulling their blood-monied passengers. What a disgrace.

  18. Ajwrosebank says:

    What a smart horse! He waited patiently for all the traces and harnesses to be removed before getting up! Of course he couldn’t get up while still connected to the carriage! He looked in great health to me…

  19. stopabusenow says:

    sneeze?  that Malone is a piece of shit. the horse did more than sneeze, he fucking fell unto the streets from exhaustion.  Those horses were working nonstop with NO breaks on Sat.  these drivers are from 3rd world country.  bunch of low lives peasants who pay NO taxes.  it is a FAKE union with no collective bargaining. ILLEGALS in the STABLES,  they pay NO employer TAX, they add NO value to this city and in fact congest the city and makes it look and smell like a 3rd world country.  poor carriage horses. 

    1. Cindy says:


  20. Bloombergdropdead says:

    heartbreaking.  fucking billionaire bloomberg who only supports the illegals and the tourists and give no shit about the people of this city who were born and raised here.  WE don’t want this fukcing animal abuse here!!

    1. Cindy says:

      i AGREEEE!

  21. Sligo11 says:

    Surprising that in a city like New York that prides itself on being “modern,” so many continue to condone animal abuse and the subjugation of animals all for the sake of a few bucks.  I guess money truly is king, and treating animals with respect comes in a distant second.   But conscience has a way of creeping up on people.  Just think – maybe someday compassion will trump greed and denial and will replace animal abuse.  Maybe it’ll happen suddenly, maybe it’ll take time. 

  22. You know,  it’s very hard to “slip” when pulling a carriage,  because the shafts tend to keep the horse upright.  That’s why I am assuming,  as a competitive carriage driver myself,  that the horse collapsed.  Note how difficult it is to get him to rise.  And I DO NOT like the fact that they are pulling on the bridle with the bit in his mouth.  

    1. Cindy says:


  23. Lisa Ashley says:

    “Radical,” really? Seems to me they are the ONLY people speaking out against horse abuse in NYC and these articles that spin the truth into lies. Horses ARE over worked, underfed, uncared for and abused by the horse carrriage inducstry – and all this is overseen by Mayor Bloomberg who could care less what happens to these animals b/c they make $. The bottom line is $. No one care about the animals. Just like bloomberg take the $ earmarked for more shelter and using it (isn’t that embezzlement?) for something else! All the while NYACC MURDERS 20-50 dogs and cats A DAY! This city better wake up to animal abuse. This city better wake up!!!!

  24. AlisaChristopher says:

    this is horrible and so not the spirit of Christmas that I want to celebrate AND just an observation – in spite of many people trying very hard to get this poor horse back up on its feets, it’s interesting that only after the carriage gear is removed do they have any success – could it be that the horse is saying noooooooooooo more!!!!  thank  God, that a private vet is being called in to examine this horse – I hope he gives an Rx of at least a month’s rest!!!

    1. Cindy says:


  25. Alice Gheorghiu says:

    Mr. Malone, you are a big idiot. I am ashamed I am a human like you are and I am a part of this shameful species together with you who are such a disgrace. May God look straight at you and show you a sign that you will never forget.

  26. Erppfx says:

    Mid-evil times. Oh forgot we r in the year 2011. I think we as humans have exhausted our time of using animals to entertain, earn money, perform back breaking work and just be all around treated like slaves. We have machines and tools now that can do everything animals were used for. Dear God what these horses have to endure for our happiness. It’s time. Motorize carraiges

  27. Lisa Ashley says:

    I just read that Charlie the horse died! From tripping on pavement? DO YOU THINK WE ARE IDIOTS? WE ARE NOT. This article is pure propoganda to cover up horse abuse! Now the horse is dead. WHEN will the horse industry give it up and quit? When will NYACC stop killing? they killed 16 dogs last night…all adoptable and healthy. NYC IS SICK.

    1. Lisa, this was 4th “horse-down” accident (that we KNOW about) that has happened since Oct. 23 (the day Charlie collapsed and died). The next known accident was Oct. 23, when a horse whose name we do not know spooked and crashed his carriage in the park. Then on Nov. 4, a horse named Luke collapsed and lay motionless in the street for 15 minutes, outside a luxury hotel. The most recent accident that was documented on video was the one that happened on Dec. 4 (the topic of this article). Also, in July, during a 10-day period, there were 2 SERIOUS accidents (serious in that 3  tourists from Ohio and the carriage driver were hospitalized, in one accident). Then, another horse stumbled and fell–also in July.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Motorized carriages, buy out owners, and let’s help the horses find homes in green pastures. It doesn’t matter how and why the horse fell. It did. It doesn’t matter who was or wasn’t there to see it. It happened. The horses do not belong on the streets of the city. Cold hearts rule over continuing the attractions

  29. Lisa Ashley says:

    the white horse that fell on 12/4/11 is BACK ON THE JOB. WTF?! if  this horse tripped on the pavement and fell and “it happens all the time,” THAT IS ENOUGHT TO STOP THIS INDUSTRY! PERIOD!

  30. Lisa Ashley says:

    the white horse that fell on 12/4/11 is BACK ON THE JOB. WTF?! if  this horse tripped on the pavement and fell and “it happens all the time,” THAT IS ENOUGHT TO STOP THIS INDUSTRY! PERIOD!

  31. Jessica says:

    I have been an avid equestrian most of my life and ride regularly.  I have never met another equestrian who would say that horses “trip and fall all the time” That simply is not true.  I sincerely hope that NYC fights for the proper care of these majestic animals.  I am neither an activist or radical, just a person that thinks common decency should be extended to animals, especially those animals that work for us.

  32. Lynn Holmes says:

    If only animals had rights in a court of law. Dear Mr Malone you pathetic little man. Have you never heard of the saying, ‘Even a donkey deserves a break’.  Day in day out these horses of burden are subject to monetary exploitation, so overworked and exposed to dangerous to health chemical exhaust fumes, that can cause respiratory problems through prolonged exposure. Dearie me, it is a well known fact that asthma sufferers have great difficulty in breatheing when exposed to clouds of fumes that are given off on our road vehicles 24/07.  A further complication is the heat factor, temperatures soaring as a result of climate change. God help these strickened animals. Sir, this is unacceptable and blatant cruelty, and your operation is denying these hardworking animals the right to decent welfare standards and working conditions, afterall, they are used as public servants, are they not ?  I suggest you respect and liberate the horses, retire them all to pasture and invest in the motor vehicle that easily adapts to these conditions, i.e. pollution, noise, stress, weathering and climate change to transport the public.  The days of fresh air have diminished having  fallen foul to pollution. No animal deserves to be taken for bloody granted, and as their guardians, comes great responsibility. 

  33. Cindy says:

    it’s bull stop using and abusing horses in that manner……..I just wish that horse would kick who’s ever ass who did this to him……………Stop Horse Abuse!!! Stop carriage rides……….it’s inhumane!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Kitten4395 says:

    you fuckers make me sick!

  35. Kitten4395 says:

    How can anyone hurt an innocent animal like this….bastards!!!

  36. Cindy says:


  37. Of course the abusers are not going to admit the abuse. Once again, you have let down the horses. You are all disgusting! If horses keep getting into accidents then this is definitely not safe for them. Not only is it unsafe for the horse, but it is unsafe for the ignorant tourists  who are in the carriages when this happens. When this horse fell yesterday, I saw someone take a stroller out of the carriage. That means that there was a child in there. If you don’t care about beautiful horses being injured, you should at least care about children. Their parents didn’t care enough about the child’s safety. I’m sure they’re going to tell all their friends to never take a carriage ride now!

  38. westgapeachpit says:

    Obviously, these “activists” know absolutely zero about horses. 

    A. When a horse goes down and feels trapped by predators (humans), of which there were many including this clown with the camera, the harness surrounding the animal, and all the chaos, the instincts kick in and tell the horse “Hey, guess what? You’re toast. In fact, you’re somebody’s dinner today-you’re going to die right here, right now, and there’s not one thing you can do about it.”  Ms. Poor Thing was, in point of fact, MAKING THINGS WORSE for the horse. 

    Now-since the horse, with the removal of the harness and bridle, was able to pop back up with no problem tells me that there is absolutely NOTHING physically wrong with the horse beyond a few possible scrapes and bruises. Probably the horse’s hooves hit some oil or something slick on the pavement, lost traction, and down it went. It happens to them just like you and me. Water on the kitchen floor, oil on the roadway, ice on the sidewalk-it’s all slick and it can all cause you to fall. 

    Despite what these “activists” say, horses love to work. I’ll grant you that I don’t know these horses or their drivers and grooms. But I doubt seriously that 99% of the drivers and grooms would allow any harm to come to the horses that allow them to make a living. It is a partnership. I’m sure there are some that may abuse it-there always are. But to end the practice because some person just decides that the horses “look” abused? Nope-that’s a no go. They are uninformed and want to wrap these working animals in bubble wrap. I’d suggest that each of them do about a year’s worth of labor in the barns before making that recommendation again. And make sure they don’t talk to each other while they do it. 

  39. TuffRider says:

    Independant vet: a great idea. Sure, there are illness reasons why the horse would go down….they are not as common as a simple slip and fall.

    Wagons do not hold up a horse, the horse holds the wagon stable. The crew did a great job of freeing the horse, and it rose in a normal fashion, calmly, once it realized in that position it was not ‘done for’, which is what they think ( as a flight animal) if in a prone ( vulnerable) position.

    As far as exhaustion goes: doubtful: they are work animals and even working ( at a walk with a carriage), full days are a cake walk compared to other equine athletes. It’s really no different than the cops on horses…..who will, upon occasion, run on pavement….Where’s the outcry there?

  40. Cindy says:

    Another poor, tired carriage horse falls. When will this inhumane industry end? They are all trusted up, forced to work long hours. It is now the Holiday season and it’s no HOliday for the horses. Bring in the electric carts and send ALL the horses to sanctuaries where they can run on the hills, roll in the grass and be horses. How many times must we see these accidents???? How many times???