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Borough carriage drivers fear for jobs

A horse-drawn carriage rides down a street in Manhattan. Hundreds of drivers, including some in Queens, are fighting for their jobs after Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a ban on carriage rides in Central Park.
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For many Queens residents who work as carriage drivers in Central Park, the centuries-old business is more than just a job.

Steve Malone is the proud son of a Bayside couple who started a horse-drawn carriage business in 1964 and Malone, who now lives on Long Island, has been in the business himself for nearly 27 years. He is just one of hundreds of workers across New York fighting to save their jobs, threatened by a proposed ban on horse-drawn carriage rides in the park.

“It would be devastating,” he said. “This is a business that’s been in families for decades. Now they want to take it away.”

A recent proposal put forth by Mayor Bill de Blasio seeks to put an end to the business that he believes is cruel to horses. Malone, who serves as spokesman for the Local 553 union representing carriage drivers, said there are about 300 licensed workers across the city who depend on the carriage ride industry to make their living.

Some 15 percent to 20 percent of those people, he said, live near Bayside and would be left without anything to fall back on if their jobs were lost.

“We have 68 carriages and those carriages represent 68 small businesses,” he said. “It’s not a game. We’re talking about people’s livelihoods. We have a very good, legal business that’s been in place for 155 years and it has no reason to be replaced.”

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has been one of the strongest proponents of the legislation, dating back to his time in the City Council when he proposed a ban of his own in 2009. Avella cited several concerns with the business, such as overworked horses and owners not following regulations.

He also said there is a “serious safety issue” involved with having the horses so close to Manhattan’s busy streets.

“Why do we allow them in Midtown traffic anymore?” Avella said. “It’s sort of crazy. The two don’t mix. There’s a reason horse and buggies don’t exist anymore.”

Malone said the Council overwhelmingly passed a resolution in 2012 approving additions to the more than 140 pages of regulations meant to protect the horses.

According to the regulations, horses are not allowed to work in temperatures above 89 degrees or below 18 degrees. A section of Central Park’s website dedicated to horse carriage tours also notes that animals have been known to be taken back to stables in snow or other inclement weather.

The newest rules passed in 2012 added vacation time for animals, increased stall size at stables and called for more vaccination and healthcare. Malone dismissed the idea that rules are not followed by drivers, but Avella argued that the city agencies in charge of overseeing the industry don’t enforce regulations and said it has led to safety concerns and businesses illegally overcharging customers.

“The city has been doing an awful job monitoring this industry,” he said. “It’s disgraceful.”

Avella said he is aware some of the drivers who would be affected by the ban live in his district and has agreed to work with business owners to come up with alternatives to help them keep their jobs. He has suggested converting carriages into motorized cars that would operate without horses and said medallions could be transferred at a “very minor cost.”

De Blasio has proposed using electric cars, but Avella and Malone said it would not work in the long run because of the cost. Avella said he is not opposed to discussing other options but said the fact of the matter is that the industry as it exists is outdated.

“Nobody wants to put anyone out of work, but there are alternativ­es,” he said. “Businesses go out every day because they’re no longer appropriate. I think we’re coming to an end and how the end comes about is still in question.”

Malone said the union is waiting to see how far the proposal will go before deciding what needs to be done to fight it. Until then, he and the rest of the drivers will continue to hope for the best.

“We’re in a holding pattern right now and when we know exactly what the mayor is proposing, then we can have a plan of attack,” he said. “He’s the one who started this war.”

Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at kdurham@cnglocal.com.

Updated 10:01 am, February 2, 2014
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Reader feedback

Laura from PA says:
Although now in PA I am originally from the metro area and come to NYC occasionally bringing people to city activities such as shows, museums, etc. The sight of these horses stuck in Midtown traffic is so frightening for rural tourists, some of whom own horses themselves and are aware of how hazardous it is to both people and horses that they can't understand how the carriage industry is allowed. There has to be another way for these drivers to earn a living. Some of my friends have told me they don't want to return because of it. It must end.
Jan. 31, 2014, 10:20 am
Kathryn from Massachusetts says:
@Laura How sad that your visitors were terrified. The rural horse people I know of that have observed carriage horses in midtown have commented on how much safer it seems in NYC for the horses, because drivers are accustomed to seeing them and are going much slower than they do on country roads. If your visitors own horses themselves and believe it's hazardous for people and horses to be in NYC, they must be paralyzed with fear for themselves and their own horses at home. Horses and people engaged in equine activities are far more likely to be hurt outside the city then in it.
Jan. 31, 2014, 11:16 am
Brendan from California says:
It is my understanding that the mayor has yet to visit any of the carriage stables. He has been invited and during his primary campaign in September he declared he would.
Is it not callous and lets face it undemocratic when he refuses to even meet with the men and women whose livelihoods he is calling "inhumane" (his words not mine) and who he is condemning to unemployment . The electric car is a fantasy which is not yet built and may have little appeal in the market place .
His words are those of a dictator not a mayor. If he approaches all of New York's other more pressing and important issues with such high handed arrogance its going to be 4 long years.
Jan. 31, 2014, 1:11 pm
Bernadette Kelly from Douglaston, Queens says:
61% of NYers oppose the ban, I would guess that in Eastern Queens, the number would be even more lopsided in favor of the industry.

It would be prudent for our state senator to represent the wishes of the voters. I am not aware of any massive anti-carriage horse push in our district, but I do know that there will be many of our neighbors out of work.

Perhaps Mr. Avella abandon this non-issue and look at the real priorities in our area.
Jan. 31, 2014, 3:55 pm
brenda from queens says:
instead of midtown ,, have them use the parks... central park they even can go to flushing meadows during the tennis matches etc.... there has to be a forum on this
Jan. 31, 2014, 5:51 pm
Susan Davis from Queens says:
So because approx 200 people have job insecurity we should continue an unnecesary safety hazard, and unnecessary cruelty to horses? Absurd, who has had more notice to find work than these people, who? DeBlasio stated over 6 months ago that the ban is coming, so right now technically they've had at least 6 months to find other employment. When I had to find employment for which I had no skills (Ian McKeever you are hardly the only one), I had less than 2 weeks notice! There will always be car accidents, but we NEED cars in NYC, horses are not needed, so any accident with a horse is an unnecessary accident. These horses need daily pasture, daily turnout and they are deprived of it! Just because someone isn't standing over them with a whip doesn't mean it's not cruel. The NYC environment is horrendously cruel to horses.
Jan. 31, 2014, 7:30 pm
Susan Davis from Queens says:
It just kills me that hundreds of horses that did not work out on the streets of NYC were sent to slaughter by this cruel trade and nobody says one word, it just kills me that these horses were forced to stand in their own urine for years, stand in puddles of water that caused them diseases, go without water because the water troughs in CPark are empty, had their noses LITERALLY squashed against vehicles in front of them while their drivers turn around to yak to passengers , severely arthritic horses forced to pound pavement, nobody says anything until now when the very people who put these horses & the public in such outrageously dangerous and cruel situations are worried about themselves. They have yet to prove that they haven't sent hundreds, perhaps thousands of horses to slaughter, since there is no paper trail they can easily deny it! What sort of person makes a living off the back of an animal and then sends that animal to a cruel slaughter?
Jan. 31, 2014, 8:19 pm
Kathryn from Massachusetts says:
I'd like to take a moment and address some of Ms. Davis' histrionics, not for her, but for the reader who may be influenced by her (ahem) inaccurate remarks.
- Working backwards, there is no evidence that ANY carriage horse has been sent to slaughter in recent years. They carry distinctive and unalterable hoof brands. Auction brokers are well aware that NYC carriage horses are worth a premium, both to the Carriage Horse Association that has committed to buying any back that are found at auction, and groups who would love to have them for the PR.
- Any "severely arthritic" horse would be taken out of service either during one of the hundreds of hack line inspections or the multiple mandatory vetting the horses receive yearly.
- The horses don't "pound pavement", they move easily, mostly at a walk, an asphalt which is a surface that was designed to give horses better footing.
- If a horse has his nose squashed against a vehicle, it's because the horse wants it there. They have necks which turn more than 180 degrees.
- The horses have access to two water troughs, one of which was recently winterized to allow for year round operation. The horses are given the opportunity to drink with every trip through the park, and the drivers carry water buckets as well.
- No New York horse has ever become diseased by standing in water. In any case, the hack line has gutters, which quickly carry standing water of any depth away.
- No New York horse stands in urine. See above, and their stalls are deeply bedded with absorbent material.
Jan. 31, 2014, 9:34 pm
Karla from NC says:
For Kathryn - most of what she says is true. I have seen the stables and they are inadequate for most of these horses. The fire plans for the stables are grossly inadequate. I have seen horses with hoof cracks working, seen them working in temps greater than 89 degrees, seen them with scars and marks from harnesses..I can continue. Horses need daily turnout and these don't get it. Excessive walking on pavement can cause conclusive laminatis, which cam lead to chronic lameness. And yes, these horses do go to slaughter...no killer buyer checks marks...it's all about money. In these modern times, there is no reason to have horses working the streets with cars. And these drivers should be looking for alternate work. Btw, I am a veterinarian, and can attest to the conditions I described before.
Jan. 31, 2014, 9:44 pm
Karla from NC says:
Typos were spell correct, sorry.
Jan. 31, 2014, 9:45 pm
Kathryn from Massachusetts says:
Continuing:
- Horses that don't acclimate to New York when they are trialed are sent back to former owners, not to slaughter, IF for no other reason than the former owners will give the carriage people their thousands of dollars back, while the kill buyers will pay about fifty cents per pound. Do the math.
- Horses don't need daily pasture, or daily turnout. They need exercise, which the carriage horses get by walking around Central Park.
- Horses are far more likely to be injured outside of the city than in it. Dogs get injured and killed in NYC, and are just as not necessary. Shall we ban them, too?
- It is unfortunate that Ms. Davis lost her job. Surely that isn't reason for Bill de Blasio to take away the livelihood provided for 300 families who are a part of humane and legal small businesses?
- Other than a minority opinion unsupported by the facts, there is no reason to believe the carriage horses' experience in New York is inhumane or cruel, either inherently or circumstantially.
Thank you.
Jan. 31, 2014, 9:46 pm
Jen from Queens says:
I'm happy that they are going to finally ban horse drawn carriages. It is horrible that these beautiful creatures are being so miss treated. It's time we treated animals more with respect and dignity.
Jan. 31, 2014, 9:47 pm
Kathryn from Massachusetts says:
@Karla Specifically what about the stables is inadequate? Perhaps you are referring to stall size. They are all big enough for the occupant to lie down and stretch out in, which given the amount of exercise they get is adequate. As a veterinarian, surely you know many stables, including the Royal Mews and the famous Spanish Riding School from which the Lipizzaners come, keep their horses in straight stalls? And that three renowned equine specialty vets found the stables met the needs of the horses? Perhaps you have a professional difference of opinion with the veterinarians that care for the Queen of England’s horses, but that doesn't make it a fact that the NYC stables are inadequate.

About the killer buyers not checking for marks – if you were knowledgeable, you’d know they are called hoof brands, not marks. The killer buyers scrutinize the horses closely to see how much profit can be made, that’s what he makes money doing. Given that he can easily sell a NYC branded horse for double the price he’d get at the slaughter house, why would this person then not go for the bigger bucks? You can’t have it both ways, either it’s about the money or it isn’t.

Yes, excessive exercise on hard surfaces CAN cause concussive laminitis, but merely walking on asphalt is not a risk factor. For that matter, eating too much lush grass can cause laminitis as well, should we avoid all turnout? How many cases of road founder have there been in New York? Do you have documentation that suggests there has been even one?

As a veterinarian, you know that horses often have small cracks in their hooves that cause them no discomfort if attended to. What’s your point? The scars and marks from harnesses, again, as a veterinarian you know it’s not uncommon for a horse to come to an owner with healed injuries, some of which leave scars. Do you have any documentation of NYC horses working with injuries or sores?

You sound a lot like a small animal vet that used to spend a lot of time worrying about the carriage horses. In any case, I see that it is your opinion that horses should not be on the streets of NYC with cars. Like Ms. Davis, your opinion isn't founded in fact, but it’s yours.
Jan. 31, 2014, 10:39 pm
Kathryn from Massachusetts says:
Oops! I missed the part about the grossly inadequate fire plan.
All of the NYC carriage horse stables are brick buildings that have modern sprinkler and alarm systems, and around the clock stablemen. They are all less then four blocks from a NYFD fire station, and get routine inspections to make sure they are up to code.
What more of a fire plan do you want? Most stables have NONE of the above.
Jan. 31, 2014, 11:30 pm
Maria Clara from Weschester County,Mamaroneck says:
The reality is painfull for some people to see,but is there ,go observed them ,they are tired, they look depress! where is the compassion ?.This is the ugly face of New York City.This will be over soon with DiBlassio.
And to the carriage drivers GET A REAL JOB!
Feb. 1, 2014, 12:51 am
Valerie from long island says:
When one is in denial about the realty of the circumstances, one could justify just about any form of cruelty, especially when it comes to animals because they are, as a matter of course, objectified. Like sows confined in gestation crates. Or elephants performing in circuses. And so on. Most people have limited knowledge of and actual experience with the species they are objectifying and so, they simply ride on the backs of others who do the same. This disconnect just perpetuates the paradigm that animals are ours to subjugate. Spend some time with animals and stop quoting a bunch of regulations that are rarely observed and have nothing to do with the hearts and spirit of a sentient being. It's time to move forward and practice compassion. Exploitation is the mark of an indulgent and cruel society.
Feb. 1, 2014, 9:46 am
Eddie Sullivan from Flushing says:
The mayor did not start this war. The carriage drivers started their war against horses years ago. Horses are not here for us to use for our pleasure. This work is slavery for horses and it is an assault to their dignity. Thousands of New Yorkers have recognized this and have pressured many administrations to end this modern slavery. The major is responding to the will of the majority.
As far as the carriage horse drivers losing their jobs, slave traders lost their jobs in the 1800's after the Civil War. History does not cry for them. The 'men' driving these horses in misery should man-up and find real employment that does not involve the abuse of a sentient being.
New Yorkers want this industry stopped.
Feb. 1, 2014, 11:57 am
MJLawe from Astoria says:
How can these hypocrites call out the carriage horses when there is Mounted Patrol out in Times Square right now with traffic and throngs of people all around them. To say that urban life is okay for one and not the other is ridiculous. Makes me wonder who's been paid off.
Feb. 1, 2014, 2:15 pm
Jenell from atlanta says:
Horse carriage drivers need to find real jobs where they are paid for their labor not the suffering labor of other animals . Like Susan said they have had 6 months notice to find real jobs. If the only thing they know how to do is sit and be talk why don't they start pedicab touring businesses ?
Feb. 1, 2014, 3:12 pm
Jenell from Atlanta says:
sorry I meant sit and talk
Feb. 1, 2014, 3:26 pm
sharon from california says:
Turnout is a decompression time for herd animals that have spent hours confined and regimented to the same boring pattern day in and day out. It's a time to interact with others of their own species, sort out herd heirarchy, groom one another and reaffirm bonds. It becomes a mental health issue.
Growing up on a ranch with show horses that were stabled except for training or showing (growing up in SoCal there is no set show sesason it happens all year), the mental stress was obvious in the horses that never or rarely experienced turnout or normal herd socialization.
Naming ourselves the empiracle species on this planet seems to have given us the right to force other species into unnatural patterns contrary toto their nature, and then argue and defend our right to do so.
Feb. 2, 2014, 12:12 am
Courtney from UES says:
I was told by one of the drivers' representatives (won't' use name) that she would give me a tour of the stables, and that I could bring a camera along. I followed up with her 3 times, and it never happened. She originally messaged ME via Facebook, after reading something I wrote about and against carriage horses in NYC. I just think ya'll should know this… their union and all their industry representatives are very good at politics, but they have a lot to hide. I'm not the only one that was lead on, for a little bit at least, to think they were open and honest. They're like the guy the police brought in who refuses to take a polygraph. That alone is telling. Susan Davis, you also make some really good points. Thank you.
Feb. 2, 2014, 9:55 am
Kathryn from Massachusetts says:
@ Sharon I hope you will be happy to hear that many horse professionals have remarked that it's wonderful how remarkably NOT stressed the NYC carriage horses are. They show absolutely no indication of stress or chronic boredom such as weaving, pawing, cribbing, sweating, tension or tail wringing. Maybe it has to do with the fact that unlike many show horses that are only out of their stalls for short periods, the carriage horses get up to eight hours per day of easy exercise in a city that's always changing. But I don't know for sure, and I won't make judgments about those 220 horses based on the mere thousands I have seen in my lifetime.
Feb. 2, 2014, 12:52 pm
Kathryn from Massachusetts says:
@Courtney I hope you aren't saying that because you were unable to connect with the drivers' representative it means they have something to hide. Many people, including the hundreds of people that toured the stables for ClipClop and most recently writer Jon Katz, have thoroughly toured the stables - some have shared publicly they found. Perhaps you'll want to go to the open house on February 10 and 11th.
Feb. 2, 2014, 12:58 pm
Valerie from Long Island says:
The behaviors demonstrated by the horses below speak for themselves. There is a larger issue here, Kathryn, one that you keep skirting. I suggest you read some of the other posts and respond to those...but that would require original thinking, something that may be quite challenging. And who, exactly are all these horse professionals?
From: http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/act-c-shdc-acc.html
Table of Contents:
Another NYC Carriage Horse Accident 26 Sep 2013
Another Horse Collapses 4 Jan 2013
Horse's Death May Have Been Caused By Age 8 Nov 2012
Carriage Horse Accident in Midtown 20 Sep 2012
Carriage horse banged up in crash with car and motorcycle at Columbus Circle 7 Jun 2012
Crash gashes hansom horse 7 Jun 2012
Horse causes damage, takes woman on terrifying caleche ride 28 Apr 2012
Carriage Horse Accidents in the UK and Austria 16 Apr 2012
Valentine's Day 2012 - Horse breaks his leg! City tries to hide it 19 Mar 2012
Horse Carriage Crash on 11th Avenue, NY 3 Mar 2012
Another Carriage Horse Collapses in NYC - 4 Nov 2011
Carriage horse collapses, dies in midtown NYC - 23 Oct 2011
Central Park horse-drawn carriage smacked by taxi cab, four people hurt - 26 Jul 2011
Horse Spooks at Central Park West - 18 Jul 2011
Carriage Horse vs. Bus in Midtown NYC - 6 Nov 2010
Tourist Killed by Bolting Horse - 8 Aug 2010
Horses Kill 1, Injure 23 at Iowa 4th of July Parade - 4 Jul 2010
Unreported Carriage Accident in New York City - 1 May 2010
Car Crashes Into Horse Carriages in Philadelphia's Old City - 19 Apr 2010
Carriage Crash Victims Identified - 19 Apr 2010
Unmanned Horse Carriage Bolts in Vienna - 9 Apr 2010
Broken Ribs, Smashed Carriage and Spooked Horse Mar Spring Night - 6 Apr 2010
Horse Drawn Carriage Involved In Hit-and-Run - 25 Dec 2009
Horse Breaks Free from Carriage in Cincinnati’s Hyde Park Square - 23 Dec 2009
Car Hits Horse-drawn Virginia Holiday Wagon; 14 Hurt - 15 Dec 2009
Runaway Carriage Horse Scatters Crowd at Peddlers Village - 6 Dec 2009
Two Hurt as Taxi Hits Carriage - 20 Sep 2009
Horse Leads Tourists on Wild Ride Through Downtown Salt Lake City - 30 Aug 2009
Carriage Crash Injures Horse in Philadelphia - 29 Aug 2009
Pony-cart Driver Injured Near Quebec City - 29 Aug 2009
Spooked Horse Collides with Carriage; Bystanders Injured - 7 Aug 2009
Car Hits Horse and Buggy in Coventry RI - 26 Jul 2009
Carriage Horse Runs Loose in Downtown San Antonio - 4 Jul 2009
Buggy Mishap Kills Harness Racer - 23 Jun 2009
Horse Runs Buck Wild Through S.F. - 6 Jun 2009
Boy Dies in Horse and Carriage Accident - 6 Jun 2009
Two Horses Killed and Two Women Injured - 1 Jun 2009
Spooked Horse Tosses Carriage Driver at Ogden Point - 29 Mar 2009
Vienna Tourists Hang on as Carriage Horses Bolt - 1 Jan 2009
Horse-Drawn Carriage Runs Amok in Berlin - 27 Dec 2008
Woman trampled in horse carriage in Britain - 1 Dec 2008
Another Carriage Horse Accident In Charleston - 22 Oct 2008
Horses Pulling Funeral Carriage Crashes Into Car - 17 Oct 2008
Panicked Horses Bolt with Wedding Carriage - 1 Sep 2008
Car Rear Ends Horse and Buggy in Colorado
Horse Spooks in New Holland, PA - 19 Aug 2008
Horse-drawn carriage drove over man during film shoot in Riga - 8 Aug 2008
Horse spooked; surrey riders dumped in street - 7 Aug 2008
After Throwing Rider, Police Horse Returns Home Alone - 3 May 2008
CINCINNATI CARRIAGE ACCIDENT - 13 Apr 2008
Woman dies in carriage accident in Kentucky - 22 Mar 2008
Carriage crashes on Aspen street - 13 Mar 2008
Man dies after horse-drawn carriage is struck by vehicle - 10 Mar 2008
HORSE SPOOKS IN QUEENS ST. PAT'S DAY PARADE - 2 Mar 2008
Spooked horses bolt at a funeral - 8 Feb 2008
Charlotte, SC - Carriage Accident Injures Six - 11 January 2008
Horse-Drawn Carriage Accident, Alton, TX - 22 December 2007
Plaza Horse Carriage Crash Raises Concerns - 16 December 2007
Horse and carriage rides will resume after accident, Brampton, Ontario, Canada - 14 December 2007
Horse dies in bizarre accident - 14 December 2007
Man, 76, dies in horse and carriage accident - 10 October 2007
Investigating the Death of Smoothie - 17 September 2007
Carriage horse dies in accident near Central Park - 14 September 2007
9 Injured in Buggy Accident - 28 August 2007
9 Hurt at County Nursing Home Event: Horse-and-Wagon Accident Occurs During Picnic - 17 August 2007
CALECHE CRASHES IN OLD MONTREAL - 7 August 2007
Child Killed in Carriage Crash - 24 July 2007
HORSE and TAXI IN TALE OF WHOA - 5 July 2007
Carriage horse spooks on Central Park South - 4 July 2007
HORSE RUNS LOOSE ON CARRIAGE RIDE - 12 June 2007
Accident on Seventh Avenue and 56th Street - 2 June 2007
Accident on Central Park South at Grand Army Plaza - 13 April 2007
Downtown Carriage Driver Run Over by Runaway Buggy - 15 March 2007
LITTLE GIRL DIES IN TRAGIC ACCIDENT - 22 February 2007
Horse Recovers After Getting Hit By Car - 3 December 2006
Horse wedged on roadside railings - 30 November 2006
For Central Park Carriage Horse, Death Arrives Inelegantly - 16 September 2006
Horse Collapses in Central Park - 15 September 2006
BARN FIRE IN MEMPHIS KILLS SEVEN SHOW HORSES - 8 July 2006
Carriage Horse Breaks Free in City Streets Again - 22 June 2006
Wild West Side Horse Crash - 5 May 2006
MAN INJURED BY SPOOKED HORSE IN CENTRAL PARK - 29 April 2006
Spooked horse ran wild in Central Park - 28 April 2006
BARN FIRE RULED ACCIDENTAL, BUT CAUSE UNKNOWN - 11 April 2006
TWO DOZEN HORSES PERISH IN STABLE FIRE - 24 March 2006
13 HORSES PERISH IN CHARLESTOWN FIRE - 20 March 2006
HORSES PERISH IN HUNTERDON COUNTY FIRE - 15 March 2006
RUNAWAY HORSES HURT TUCSON MAYOR, WIFE - 24 February 2006
HORSE BOLTS and INJURES 3 IN MIDTOWN - 3 January 2006
Horrific hansom cab accident - 2 January 2006
HORSE COLLAPSES ON STREET - 1 October 2005
FEAR UNBRIDLED; 2 HORSES ASTRAY IN CITY - 14 May 2005
CARRIAGE RIDES GONE WILD - 25 October 2003
STUCK IN TRAFFIC - 22 January 2002
A taxi cab collided with a horse-drawn carriage - 26 November 2001
HORSE MAKES IMPRESSION - 9 November 2000
HANSOM HORSE’S TALE OF WHOA - 2 November 2000
CARRIAGE HORSE ESCAPES DRAFT - 5 September 2000
BUGGY TUMBLES TOSSES TOURISTS - 28 August 2000
32 HORSES ARE KILLED IN WESTCHESTER FIRE - 11 July 2000
BROOKLYN STABLE FIRE KILLS 54 HORSES - 11 June 2000
BROOKLYN STABLE FIRE KILLS 21 HORSES TRAPPED IN STALLS - 11 June 2000
BRONCO GOES BONKERS ON AVENUE - 27 April 2000
BOLTING CARRIAGE HORSE HURTS 2 - 9 August 1999
CARRIAGE HIT - 1 July 1999
HORSE BUGGY DRIVER HURT IN HIT-RUN - 28 June 1999
A HERO AND TWO HORSES - 21 June 1999
CARRIAGE HORSE IS ELECTROCUTED ON STREET - 1 January 1999
3 HORSES DIED IN ONE YEAR - 16 August 1998
ANOTHER HORSE WHO COLLAPSED FROM HUMID HEAT DIED - 16 August 1998
WHITEY IN THE PINK - 16 August 1998
RUNAWAY HORSE KILLED BY VAN - 29 April 1998
CARRIAGE RIDE TURNS INTO BRONCO BUST - 13 January 1998
TOURIST RUN OVER BY HORSE - 24 November 1997
An elderly woman was seriously injured - 4 September 1997
HANSOM HORSE DIES IN HARNESS - 1 May 1997
HANSOM-CAB HORSE DIES ON STREET - 2 September 1996
Picture of injured or dead carriage horse on NYC TV station - 7 May 1994
END OF THE ROAD - 21 April 1994
DEATH OF CARRIAGE HORSE PROBED SAME OWNER HAD ONE DIE 2 WEEKS AGO - 26 August 1991
Accident Diagram - 15 May 1990
TOO HOT TO TROT A HORSE - 15 August 1988
LOST HIS STEP - 23 May 1988
Frightened by a passing car - 9 November 1986
ANOTHER RUNAWAY CARRIAGE HORSE - 9 December 1985
HORSE BOLTS, HITS CAR - 9 December 1985
13 HURT AS FRIGHTENED HORSE HITS RUNNERS IN PARK - 2 January 1983
Feb. 2, 2014, 1:19 pm
Kathryn from Massachusetts says:
@ Valerie The behaviors speak for themselves? What do they say? And what is the larger issue, please?
Here is the report of three equine specialists regarding the demeanor of the carriage horses on their inspection:
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/01/17/horse-carriages-are-not-just-a-ride-in-the-park/carriage-horses-i-inspected-were-healthy-and-content
Feb. 2, 2014, 1:44 pm
Heather Clemenceau from Aurora, ON, Canada says:
Over 100 years ago, everyone was driving a horse and carriage in New York. By the twenties, the horse-drawn carriage had been almost entirely replaced by the automobile. So the current industry can hardly say that they harken back to those days, since the current medallion ownership/licensing scheme is much more recent. It’s rather analogous to saying that the airline industry is 87 years old just because Charles Lindbergh made a flight from New York to Paris in 1927. While it’s true that many of the carriage drivers (who are employed by the 68 medallion holders) who drive approximately 220 horses could probably be described as “working class,” the business operators in their primarily cash based business (no one knows exactly how much the industry contributes to NYC tax revenue) are hardly in that category. They own the stables in which the horses reside in NYC and in my opinion, are living quite well. Several of them own more than one lucrative medallion.

It’s unclear what a medallion (license to operate a carriage business in NYC) is actually worth in present value terms. Some drivers said they paid $30,000 for their medallions 25 years ago. So obviously they are worth a considerable sum of money, given what the average income must be for the 68 medallion holders bringing in an estimated $15-$19 million dollars to the economy – an amount that has been corroborated by the Communications Liaison for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City. Therefore, to determine how “working class” the industry is as a whole, a little arithmetic can be applied as follows:

$15,000,000/68 medallions = average gross income of $220,588 per medallion owner (low-balling the industry estimate)

$19,000,000/68 medallions = average gross income of $279,412 per medallion owner (applying the upper limit of the estimate)

That’s per medallion, so if someone or a corporation owns more than one of half a medallion, the calculations can be adjusted accordingly. As a comparison, the NYC tourism industry as a whole, in 2011, brought in about 34.5 billion dollars Therefore, statements made in some of the glowing pro-carriage trade articles to the effect that the carriages are the main tourist attraction in NYC would seem to be unsupported.

So, in my opinion, the medallion owners, some of whom appear to be corporations or don’t even reside in the US, are doing very well for themselves and their incomes are hardly typical of what we would consider “working class.” Let’s be honest at least about what a “working class” income really is and what it is not. The medallion owners are contractors or licensees, and not actual employees of the city.
Feb. 2, 2014, 1:51 pm
Karen Kahn from Midtown Manhattan says:
NYC is a country by itself so if u don't live in the city ur opinion is really not valid bc u don't understand life in the city like a NYC resident, there is no need for this cruelty to continue, animals, like thise ones should be off the city! There is so much chaos going on and the city incapable conditions to have an animal and a person juggling for their life is unacceptable!! Ban horse drawn carriages NOW!!!
Feb. 7, 2014, 10:11 pm

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