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New NYC Mayor Wants To Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

horse-and-carriage-central-park

If the new Mayor of New York City gets his way, one of the iconic experiences in New York City will soon be no more:

Horse-drawn carriages could soon be a thing of the past in New York City’s Central Park after Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced plans to outlaw the popular tourist attraction once in office.

“We are going to get rid of horse carriages, period,” de Blasio said at a news conference Monday, saying that the practice is inhumane.

“No tourist comes to New York City just to ride on a horse carriage,” Allie Feldman, executive director of NYCLASS, an animal rights group, told CNN.

“Horses do not belong in a congested, urban setting,” NYCLASS states on its website. “They constantly breathe exhaust while dodging dangerous traffic … confined to the shafts of their carriage and their tiny stable stalls, with no access to green pastures.”

Steven Malone, a horse-carriage driver since 1987, said that allegations of horse abuse are “ridiculous.”

“These horses lead exceedingly great lives here,” Malone told CNN.

Malone said that horses would be sent to paddocks, where they would have less interaction and exercise and would be far less happy.

Malone also disputed claims that horses are overworked, saying that all horses get at least five weeks of vacation time, and some get up to six months.

De Blasio and NYCLASS favor replacing the horse carriages with electric antique cars driven by the same carriage drivers, which would be more humane and still be appealing to tourists, de Blasio said.

“You can’t create tradition. You can’t create kids coming with smiles on their faces to pet the horses,” Malone said. “You’re not getting that with an electric car… Kids can’t pet fenders.”

There have also been reports that some of the horses could end up being put down if they’re unable to be used in New York.

Frankly, this whole thing strikes me as monumentally silly. Having been in New York many times, and spent time in Central Park, it was never apparent to me that these horses were being mistreated in any way. And, hey, five weeks to six months of vacation time sounds pretty darn good to me.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rafer Janders says:

    Having been in New York many times, and spent time in Central Park, it was never apparent to me that these horses were being mistreated in any way.

    Well, that’s good enough for me. As long as it’s not immediately apparent to Doug, after having done no real research, that’s fine.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 4

  2. Rafer Janders says:

    Having been in New York many times, and spent time in Central Park, it was never apparent to me that these horses were being mistreated in any way.

    A carriage horse driver with a checkered history was charged on Friday with animal cruelty after a police officer observed him working a horse that was visibly injured, according to court documents.

    The officer, Brian Coll, was on patrol in Central Park shortly before midnight on Wednesday when he noticed a horse struggling to pull the weight of the carriage to which it was yoked.

    He questioned the driver, Saverio Colarusso, and learned that the horse, Blondie, had been hurt for four days, according to court documents.

    Despite the injury, Mr. Colarusso had worked Blondie for five hours that day, Officer Coll testified in the complaint…..“The horse had an injury to the rear left leg,” Officer Coll testified, “causing it to have difficulty walking and substantial pain.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/21/nyregion/carriage-horse-driver-is-charged-with-animal-cruelty.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  3. John Peabody says:

    I read somewhere that there is a real estate deal in the works for the property where the stables are. Follow the money! Go research! And let me know what ya find out, I’m going back to Netflix…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  4. Tyrell says:

    Looks like the new mayor has flipped his wig. What will be next on his list? Doing away with hot dog stands? The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and skating rink? The Empire State Building observation deck? Boat trips to the Statue of Liberty? Soft drinks and french fries? What he needs to ban are street pan handlers, gangs, and creeps. I know plenty of tourists who either road or had their pictures made with these carriages.
    I think he is being ridiculous. Bloomberg, and now this guy. The voters there sure know how to pick ‘em.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 16

  5. Rafer Janders says:

    one of the iconic experiences in New York City will soon be no more:

    I’m a New Yorker. My friends and family are New Yorkers. None of us ever have, or ever will be, inside a Central Park horse drawn carriage. It’s only an “iconic experience” for tourists and has nothing to do with the actual city.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 6

  6. Tillman says:

    The one time I’ve been to New York City, I didn’t go to ride in a horse-drawn carriage. I can do that here.

    Hmm. Reminds me that I stood on top of the World Trade Center a mere five months before 9/11…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. michael reynolds says:

    It’s the mind of dumb-ass liberal overreach that makes us all look silly. Drive a bunch of working people out of their jobs because horses in New York have to experience what people in New York do? Not an auspicious start.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

  8. Stonetools says:

    Doug is looking for “stupid nanny state” stories, not objective truth, so this post is typical Doug.
    No position on the issue. I’ll point out to Mike that the horse drawn carriages will be replaced by electric carriages , that will be driven by the erstwhile horse carriage drivers, so no job loss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  9. Pat Engesser says:

    We have horse and buggy tours here on the Battery in Charleston SC. The horses have diapers to keep the streets cl

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @Stonetools:

    The guys are like cab drivers, dependent on the number of fares they attract. Who’s going to pay them the same rates to drive around without a horse?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @Stonetools:

    By the way, that was not me down-voting. I don’t do that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  12. rudderpedals says:

    Unnecessarily cruel use of animals in business to end in NYC sounds good to this native Brooklynite too. It shouldn’t be news. Too bad it’s news.

    Supporters of this business model might check out opportunities in rickshaw.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  13. Andre Kenji says:

    I don´t know if would ride a carriage if I ever visited New York. But I would not certainly ride a electric car inside Central Park. And regulating the treatment of horses in Central Park is not that difficult. And Michael is right, that´s a gift for Conservatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Heaven forbid!!! Draft animals working as draft animals!!! Haysoos christos, how stupid can people get? Fer crise sakes we EAT animals that we have bred to be eaten. Should we stop working animals that we bred to be worked??? You know, it was a pretty good deal for them, they got fed every day, watered, sheltered during storms, if they came up lame they were allowed to rest, while we protected them from wolves and panthers, gathered the hay for the winter, built and maintained the barns…

    @Rafer Janders: Oh. Well then they are ALL guilty. Right?

    And before any dwmbsh!ts want to compare the keeping of horses to the keeping of slaves, if you can’t tell the difference between a man and a horse, your problems aren’t limited to race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  15. Tyrell says:

    @rudderpedals: “nanny state”? We will see. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as Mayor Bloomberg’s rules on what people could eat and drink. Around here it is still common to see those pony rides for little kids at carivals, fairs, and block parties. I always enjoy the tiger act at the circus. Of course some misguided people even complain about that. The problem in New York is the mayor arbitrarily deciding this without listening to all the people. But that is the way things are now a days, a small few mess things up for everyone.
    “Let those who ride decide”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  16. wr says:

    @Tyrell: ” The problem in New York is the mayor arbitrarily deciding this without listening to all the people. ”

    I realize that not knowing anything about anything is pretty much your trademark, but the city council has voted to do this in the past, only to have it vetoed by the former mayor. So it is barely a whim of deBlasio’s, done without consultation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  17. Send the horses out here to Montana where they can finish out their lives bucolically, in a state horse sanctuary, and live in a real world natural environment foraging for food as they can find it, including surviving temperatures down to 30 below zero. Central Park will look like, well, a walk in the park, thereafter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  18. rudderpedals says:

    @Tyrell: Let him not be another Bloomberg. We can agree on that at least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    No, Liberals give liberals a bad name. This guy just won a landslide election, so he has his mandate.

    Liberals covered for Bob Filner for years, pressuring those he assaulted to keep quiet as long as they could.

    Wildly corrupt Charlie Rangel is expected to walk to re-election this November.

    Considering how much effort Doug and the rest go to find some embarrassing Republican, it’s amazing that they have any time at all to find these blatantly vile liberals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  20. Rafer Janders says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Oh. Well then they are ALL guilty. Right?

    Please find where I said they are ALL guilty — but I know you can’t, because I never said nor implied it. I’m sure there are many carriage drivers who love and care for their animals. But there are some who don’t.

    What I did, after Doug used his usual “because I’ve never seen it it didn’t happen” brand of illogic, was find an article from just a month ago pointing out a case of carriage horse abuse and thereby exposing his faulty reasoning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  21. Gustopher says:

    Perhaps he should ban only the large horses. Let the carriages be drawn by tiny horses!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. JWH says:

    It seems to me that de Blasio should spend the first six months or so learning the scope of his office. Then he can get around to this horse nonsense. Municipal government’s first concerns are the three S’es: sewers, streets, and schools. Until a municipal government has those three things running correctly, I don’t think it has any business interfering in non-vital matters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  23. robertm2000 says:

    It’s part of the “Hawthorne Effect,” politicians making changes for change’s sake, just so they can look like they are doing something whether it’s productive or not. It would obviously be better for the city to keep better track of animal abuse than to throw the whole program out entirely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  24. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Oh, look, after the massive whupping it took, it crawls back out of its hole, pretending it never made a complete fool of itself… and absolutely never admitting how completely wrong it was.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  25. wr says:

    @JWH: “Until a municipal government has those three things running correctly, I don’t think it has any business interfering in non-vital matters.”

    Well, he did a lot better with the snowploughs on his first day in office than Bloomberg did in the beginning of his third term, so I think he’s got some of that handled.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  26. wr says:

    @robertm2000: “It’s part of the “Hawthorne Effect,” politicians making changes for change’s sake, just so they can look like they are doing something whether it’s productive or not. ”

    And again, this is a debate that’s been going on in NYC for years. But of course, everyone on the internet who has never set foot in the city is an expert of the subject suddenly, and knows far better what to do there than the elected government

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  27. Tillman says:

    @rudderpedals:

    Supporters of this business model might check out opportunities in rickshaw.

    It’s a fatter America, dude. I don’t think the rickshaw model is economically viable anymore.

    We’ve got bike-drawn “carriages” (or loveseats on wheels) down here. I wonder if a legitimate carriage drawn by a team of bicyclists could work. Hey, more jobs!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  28. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Considering how much effort Doug and the rest go to find some embarrassing Republican, it’s amazing that they have any time at all to find these blatantly vile liberals.

    They don’t have to expend that much effort.

    Wait, hold on, are you saying de Blasio is a blatantly vile liberal for banning horse-drawn carriages? And you’re implicitly equating that with Bob “Creepy Uncle Smile” Filner?

    What does the moral dimension of your mind look like, I wonder?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: Here’s a parallel: DeBlasio was elected in a landslide, and Filner was protected for years by high-ranking Democrats who actively suppressed his accusers. So they both enjoyed considerable support from Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  30. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Here’s a parallel: DeBlasio was elected in a landslide, and Filner was protected for years by high-ranking Democrats who actively suppressed his accusers. So they both enjoyed considerable support from Democrats.”

    So in little Jenos’ little mind, a vast majority of voters electing the candidate who they feel best shares their values and who will do the best job is the same as a group of insiders covering up a crime. As long as the candidate is from the party he doesn’t like.

    In little Jenos’s little mind, voting for the “icky” candidate is the same as engaging in a criminal conspiracy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  31. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You do realize by that standard you could implicate damn near anyone serving in political office nowadays? For example, I could flip that around and connect Vito Fossella’s fathering a child out of wedlock* (which, to me anyway, is a greater scandal than sexual harassment) with the relatively benign Rand Paul essentially waging class warfare on the poor, and call them blatantly vile conservatives. Or am I misunderstanding the structure of your logic, such as it is?

    Because if I’m not, I gotta say there’s no point in saying we elect horrible people. That’s a fairly universal truth. It’s doubly contemptuous to say it as if it only applies to one slice of the political spectrum.

    * I could’ve gone with Schwarzenegger, but Fossella fathered his kid during his term.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: I’d disagree with you on that comparison. While having a child out of wedlock is indiscreet and irresponsible, in most cases there’s consent on both parties. Harassment, though, is an attack.

    One exception is Jesse Jackson, who used his non-profit to pay off his mistress when she bore his child. But there the sin is in the misappropriation of funds, not the child itself.

    And let me repeat and clarify my point: what I find the most surprising about this coverage is that Doug usually finds all kinds of Republicans to mock and deride; it takes a hell of a lot for a Democrat to make his cut. I think there was one or two stories about Filner, and about that on Rangel.

    OK, I’ll go check. 6 by Doug on Filner and his scandal, pretty much nothing on how he was covered for by major Democrats. And there have been 17 stories on Rangel’s scandals in the past 3 1/2 years — mostly from when he was charged by the House.

    But Doug is really, really good at finding Republicans to deride. On just the main page right now, he’s got one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  33. superdestroyer says:

    @Stonetools:

    But how many people will want to take a ride in an electric carriage. Do any such carriages exist now?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. Rafer Janders says:

    @superdestroyer:

    But how many people will want to take a ride in an electric carriage. Do any such carriages exist now?

    Yes, they are called cars. Plenty of people seem to enjoy riding in them. People will even pay good money to watch other people drive these electric carriages around and around a track.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Liberals covered for Bob Filner for years, pressuring those he assaulted to keep quiet as long as they could.

    Yes, wanting to ban horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park is equivalent to Bob Filner’s sexual harassment activities.

    Lay off the Twinkies, you’ll feel better and you’ll probably make fewer invalid analogies and false equivalences.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’d disagree with you on that comparison. While having a child out of wedlock is indiscreet and irresponsible, in most cases there’s consent on both parties. Harassment, though, is an attack.

    To me, both are breaches of trust. The harassed feel that the trust they put in others to maintain basic social graces is broken. The spouse, on the other hand, makes explicit promises in front of witnesses not to do what s/he just did. It’s like the difference between lying to a friend and lying in court.

    And let me repeat and clarify my point: what I find the most surprising about this coverage is that Doug usually finds all kinds of Republicans to mock and deride; it takes a hell of a lot for a Democrat to make his cut. I think there was one or two stories about Filner, and about that on Rangel.

    You’re forgetting Anthony Weiner, who got something like eight articles from Doug. David Wu got two.

    I think you’re just showing some bias here. Everyone loves a good scandal regardless of who’s on the chopping block.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. bill says:

    @John Peabody: it’s always about the money, as Steven noted last week. the barns are on some valuable acreage- like anything in manhattan is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0