The city’s Parks Department reined in a Howard Beach stable this week after six horses died there in as many months.
The department temporarily shut down Cedar Lane Stables, a boarding area for horses in Tutor Park, after “an alarming number of horse fatalities and health issues at the site,” said Parks spokesman Phil Abramson.
Operated by the Federation of Black Cowboys since 1998, the stable had a “rough board” agreement with owners, meaning the federation provides stable space while horse owners were responsible for oversight of each animal.
“The fatalities and problems with the physical conditions of the facilities make it clear that this ‘rough board’ agreement can no longer work,” said Abramson. “While the Parks Department supports the educational mission of the Federation of Black Cowboys, for the safety and well being of the horses who reside there the Parks Department has suspended operations under the license agreement.”
The “rough board” agreement allows the federation to rent out close to 50 stalls to individual horse owners for $165 a month, while the federation is under no obligation to care for the animals.
It was under this agreement that six animals died in 2012 between July 18 and Dec. 21 at the stables, which are at 83-12 South Conduit Ave.
The Parks spokesman said the department regularly sends inspectors to its concessions and communicates with the operators. In this case, Abramson said the federation had been monitoring the conditions at the stable since the first equine death occurred in July.
Parks said the federation may resume operations if within six months it brings the stables into compliance with all laws, rules and regulations applicable to a “full board” agreement under which the federation will assume responsibility for the horses’ welfare.
As for the surviving horses at the stables, Parks is working with the federation to temporarily relocate the animals that are boarded there with their individual owners. The department said it provided owners with lists of other stables nearby as well as rescue and adoption organizations that can take in any horses that may be abandoned.
Kesha Morse, president of the Federation of Black Cowboys, chose not to comment at length when reached by phone, but did say the federation is cooperating with the Parks Department.
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2013 Community News Group
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