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) :