View Full Version : The Dumbest Idea to Replace Carriage Horses

January 26th, 2012, 11:33 AM
These morons can't be serious...

Meet the Contraption That Wants to
Replace Central Park Horses


A model of the faux-vintage electric car that horse advocates say could replace carriage horses in New York, with Ed Sayres, left, and Steve Nislick of NY-Class, the group that sponsors the cars.

The faux-vintage electric car that horse advocates want to replace Central Park’s carriage horses (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/horse-drawn-carriages/) has classic white-walled tires, running boards, mahogany and an “ah-hoogah” horn.On Thursday, in a fourth-floor conference room of Manhattan’s Hippodrome — where circus horses once performed — Jason Wenig set a model of it across the table from the car’s sponsors.“Brass is going to be everywhere, and it’s going to be shiny and beautiful,” said Mr. Wenig, who runs a customized car design shop (http://www.thecreativeworkshop.com/bio_jasonwenig.asp) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.NY-Class (http://www.ny-class.org/), a nonprofit group that lobbies for the removal of the carriage horses from New York City, revealed the car for the first time on Thursday.



January 26th, 2012, 04:47 PM
Now it makes more sense why folks are lobbying to remove the carriage horses: Somebody else wants to corner that niche "transport the tourists" market.

Follow the Money!!

January 27th, 2012, 06:09 PM
Another New York tradition threatened by greed disguised as "concern" for horses. These wonderful animals have been used since the start of time,for all heavy transport. You mean to tell/me its too much to go 5mph around the park? I don't buy it.
That's what classic car shows are for. What's next? AMC pacer? Model T Ford? Pontiac Trans Am? A vette stingray around the park....My 2002 Pontiac Grand Am GT in mint condition 20 years from now........THIS IS STUPID!!!
PS. Yes, the morons are serious.:(

September 27th, 2013, 05:14 AM
Old coverage about carriage horses (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5981&page=3)

Joe Lhota: Horse Carriages In NYC Should Be 'Motorized'

(see article for video)

Hours after a horse carriage flipped over in Columbus Circle (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/26/horse-carriage-columbus-circle_n_3996045.html?utm_hp_ref=new-york), Republican New York City mayoral candidate Joe Lhota told HuffPost Live (http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/nyc-mayoral-candidate-joe-lhota-interview/523c77e178c90a4e86000418)that he thinks carriages should be motorized. "I don't think the horses should be there," he told host Marc Lamont Hill. "I think we need to motorize the carriages."

Lhota and his opponent, Democrat Bill de Blasio, have both made statements (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/drivers-fear-mayor-rid-carriages-article-1.1456216) saying they'd ban the use of horses for carriages in New York City so, come January, horse carriage drivers may need to start looking for other work.

Watch the full 25-minute interview with Lhota here (http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/nyc-mayoral-candidate-joe-lhota-interview/523c77e178c90a4e86000418).


September 27th, 2013, 10:44 AM
The whole point of the carriages is to have the horse, OTHERWISE PEOPLE WILL NOT USE THEM.

We already have horseless carriages to transport people around the park. They are called CABS.

September 28th, 2013, 03:55 PM
If they want to minimize dangerous incidents, keep them within the confines of the park. Eliminating them is nothing other than passive-aggressive pissing by opponents on what they see as "old" New York.

April 18th, 2014, 04:12 AM
Daily News campaigning to save city’s beloved carriage horses

The 156-year-old industry faces extinction after Mayor de Blasio campaigned on a promise to replace the majestic horses trotting through Central Park. Instead, Hizzoner wants electric cars.

April 16, 2014

Julia Xanthos/New York Daily News Horse carriage drivers are safe for now, but Mayor de Blasio does have it on his list to ban the 156-year-old industry.

The 156-year-old industry faces extinction after Mayor de Blasio campaigned on a promise to replace the majestic horses trotting through Central Park. Instead, Hizzoner wants electric cars.
De Blasio’s stance flies in the face of public opinion: The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that 64% of New Yorkers support the horse carriages.


The first of the antique style electric cars that advocates want to replace Central Park horse carriages has been built and will make its debut at the New York Auto Show. Pro-carriages advocates say no cars, even electric ones, should be added to park.

New Yorkers who want to keep the carriages can sign a petition that will run on The News website and in print editions imploring the mayor to change his mind.

Actor Liam Neeson, one of the industry’s most outspoken supporters, expressed gratitude to The News.

“My sincere thanks to the Daily News for coming on board and helping to save this unique part of our New York history,” Neeson sai

Stephen Malone, spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York, said he’s thrilled New York’s Hometown paper is bucking the mayor.

“Like the carriages, the Daily News is an integral part of New York,” Malone said.

Carriage horse driver Christina Hansen said the support is crucial to fight the battle.

“Mayor de Blasio has completely sided with the wealthy folks who have used their money and influence to get him elected and are now expecting payback,” said Hansen, 33.

The News kicks off its campaign as the pricey electric car that animal rights advocates say could replace the horse carriages is ready to roll — and making its debut at the New York Auto Show this week.

The vintage car, commissioned by anti-horse-carriage group NYCLASS, will be shown off at the Javits Center during the show, which runs from April 18-27.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News The News kicks off its campaign as the pricey electric car that animal rights advocates say could replace the horse carriages is ready to roll.

Jason Wenig of the exotic car company Creative Workshop has spent the last year designing and building the contraption at his Florida business.

The prototype — meant to mimic the turn-of-the-20th-century “horseless carriage” — cost about $450,000 to design and build.

If the advocates get their way, 68 of the electric cars will replace the current fleet of carriages.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News The prototype is set to make its debut at the New York City Auto Show.

NYCLASS estimates the price will drop to $150,000 to $175,000 if the cars are made on a wider scale.

NYCLASS Executive Director Allie Feldman said tourists would be just as glad to ride in the back of the old-school car.

“The second you see it, you want to jump in and take a ride,” she said.

Peter Stackpole/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image The Daily News is collecting signatures to petition the potential ban on horse-drawn carriages.

But supporters of the horse carriages say no cars, even electric ones, should be added to the park.

“That’s exactly what New York needs, more cars. This experiment has been tried with electric cars in San Francisco — failed abysmally,” said Neeson at a recent stable tour.

And customers have no interest in riding in them, carriage driver Colm McKeever says.


April 18th, 2014, 11:15 AM
Somebody well connected is somehow planning to make money on this. Their business model must be very long-termed:

The prototype — meant to mimic the turn-of-the-20th-century “horseless carriage” — cost about $450,000 to design and build.

April 18th, 2014, 01:27 PM
I am not a DeBlasio fan, so am biased, but this is like the dumbest idea ever. This will NOT help the horses, because these are WORK horses. They are bred to work and in fact want to work, like Siberian Huskies want to work. These are not horses that have any other purpose or economic value (sad but true) and there's a giant surplus of work horses, so if you banned them in NYC they would all be slaughtered.

If there are problems with their treatment, then enforce the rules. But banning the carriages is idiotic from an animal rights perspective. Even if you raised millions of dollars to save their lives, existing stables for riding horses cannot accommodate work horses.

April 22nd, 2014, 10:00 AM
I read a previous article, which of course I can't find right now, that one of these horses was rescued from an Amish farm, it was that bad.

One commenter writes that Steve Nislick is a real estate developer with designs on the properties where the stables now stand. Searched and came up with this (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/07/could-this-be-the-real-reason-the-new-nyc-mayor-vowed-to-ban-horse-carriages-in-nyc/) article. In the meantime:

Horse safety group: Carriage industry is well-regulated and humane

The New York State Horse Council — backed by the American Horse Council — has signed on to the Daily News’ campaign to save the city’s carriage industry. The association’s city chapter conducted a thorough investigation of the stables used to house carriage horses and found they are ‘probably the most regulated horses in the country, if not the world.’

BY Ginger Adams Otis (http://wirednewyork.com/authors?author=Ginger Adams Otis)
Published: Monday, April 21, 2014, 10:21 PM
Updated: Monday, April 21, 2014, 10:21 PM

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1764256.1398132926!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_1200/horses22n-2-web.jpgShawn Inglima for new york daily news

Vasco, a 14-year-old horse, is seen at 59th St. and Sixth Ave. The New York State Horse Council has evaluated the condition of the city's carriage horses and decided they are well-maintained.

A state association dedicated to horse safety is riding to the rescue of the city’s beleaguered hansom cab drivers.
The New York State Horse Council — backed by the American Horse Council — is bucking Mayor de Blasio and his plans to ban horse carriages in Central Park.

“Some people have labeled the carriage horse industry as ‘inhumane.’ It is not,” the state council said in a letter of support for the 156-year-old industry.
“The NYC carriage horses are probably the most regulated horses in the country, if not the world,” the letter said.

SIGN OUR PETITION: SAVE OUR HORSES (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/169J0s-BLtol9XVGl-asgWocTL9m6UdIKepkGTQnHQc8/viewform)

The State Horse Council decided to ride into the fray more than two months ago, after its city chapter conducted a thorough investigation of the stables used to house carriage horses.
“I have visited all four stables. We’ve been going for quite some time,” said Alison Clarke, the city chapter head.
“The stables could set a good example for some of the stables in the country. They’re very modern,” said Clarke.

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1764257.1398131574!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_1200/horses22n-1-web.jpgHandout An electric car, of the type being pushed by Mayor de Blasio to replace the iconic carriages, is exhibited at a show, where someone has stuck a bumper sticker from The News' 'Save Our Horses' campaign on the rope.

During his mayoral campaign, de Blasio pledged to banish the horse-drawn carriages during his first week in office.Hizzoner has said it’s not humane to have the horses pulling carriages in traffic.Steve Nislick, the millionaire founder of NYCLASS — the animal rights group leading the charge against the industry — was a campaign donor for de Blasio.

NYCLASS vocally opposed the candidacy of one of de Blasio’s mayoral rivals, then frontrunner and former Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Quinn drew the ire of the animal rights group for her support of carriage drivers as the head of the City Council.

The State Horse Council is one of the thousands who have signed on to the Daily News’ Save Our Horses petition.
More than 12,000 people have signed the petition as of Monday night asking de Blasio toreconsider his stance.
The State Horse Council has also said it will hand out The News’ campaign’s bumper stickers.

“I think it’s horrible what they are trying to do,” said Diane Jones, president emerita of the council.
“There were so many conflicting stories about the state of these horses that we investigated ourselves, and we found out that this was not right. The horses are very well taken care of,” she said.

Nislick and NYCLASS have promised that every one of the carriage horses will go to a sanctuary if the ban is enacted.
The group says the mandatory five weeks of vacation on country farms that the horses get is not enough. The horses need to be outside and able to move freely, NYCLASS has said.
The spacious stalls provided by the stables — with room for the horses to turn around and lie down — aren’t big enough, NYCLASS said.

But Jones doesn’t believe it will be that easy to find the horses good homes.
“Show me the names of these sanctuaries — I’d like to know exactly where they are,” she said. “There are hundreds if not thousands of unwanted horses in America. It’s a very sad situation."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/horse-safety-group-carriage-industry-inhumane-article-1.1764258#ixzz2zcdtnvDt

April 22nd, 2014, 10:11 AM
I think even the most clueless tourists would feel like total idiots riding around Central Park in a make-believe vintage car.

They could have solved this a long time ago by building a stable in the park. Maybe use the bridle paths. Gets the horses out of traffic, and into one place where they can be monitored.

Moving thread to correct forum

April 22nd, 2014, 05:57 PM
I refuse to ride in them, and I know I'm one of many. My sister and I will be in the city sometime in May, and I hope the horses are still there. They can keep them within CP's perimeters and they'll have more control over the situation. They are no more dangerous than speeding cyclists and cars or oblivious pedestrians.

April 22nd, 2014, 08:58 PM
I find it amazing that out of all of the issues that afflict the City of New York a newly elected mayor would seek to make this his first big initiative.

Special interests if there ever was one.

April 22nd, 2014, 09:17 PM
I don't think this is really such a big initiative. It was a campaign issue, and sometimes that's hard to back away from. It doesn't affect very many people (at least not native New Yorkers).

It seems the Vision Zero thing, pedestrian-vehicle accidents, is #1 right now.

April 23rd, 2014, 06:54 PM
The whole idea of the carriage horses is to relive the victorian era of modern NYC,before the car replaced it.

This communist sympathizer wants to repeat history (Early model cars replacing horses)for his own empowerment and enjoyment.

3. The vast majority of People want the horses to STAY! Butthen again..Commnists don't listen to the will of the people.
Di Blasio closes schools for a 6" snowstorm to celebrate his inaugural. Yet keeps them open a week later with 12" to over a foot!
Speeds and runs red lights.
Called police HQ to get a friend released.

He will get his wish,but the horses WILL RETURN! Unless Di Blasio becomes mayor for life. (sarcasm)

April 23rd, 2014, 08:33 PM
This communist sympathizer wants to repeat historyCommunist? Has the Tea Party moved here?

See posts 1 and 4.

April 26th, 2014, 09:36 AM
Follow the money indeed.

EXCLUSIVE: FBI investigation of mayoral race includes de Blasio's pledge to ban carriage horses

FBI agents have been questioning people about the pledge de Blasio made in March 2013, and the ads launched the next month by animal rights activists attacking Christine Quinn, the Daily News has learned. Agents also appear interested in a $175,000 contribution to the animal rights group NYCLASS from a union tied to de Blasio's cousin, labor leader John Wilhelm.

BY Greg B. Smith (http://wirednewyork.com/authors?author=Greg B. Smith)
Friday, April 25, 2014, 10:20 PM

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1769443.1398475093!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_1200/mayor-de-blasio-speaks-columbia.jpgAnthony DelMundo/New York Daily News (http://wirednewyork.com/photos/dn-photographers/photographer?author=Anthony DelMundo) The FBI's probe of last year's mayoral race has expanded to Mayor de Blasio's campaign pledge to ban carriage horses, the Daily News has learned.

An FBI investigation of last year’s mayoral race includes an examination of Bill de Blasio’s campaign pledge to ban carriage horses, the Daily News has learned.
FBI agents have been questioning people about the pledge, which was made in March 2013, and the ad blitz launched the next month by animal rights advocates attacking de Blasio’s chief rival, Christine Quinn, two sources familiar with the investigation said Friday.

FBI agents also appear highly interested in a $175,000 contribution by a union tied to de Blasio’s cousin, labor leader John Wilhelm, to the animal rights group NYCLASS, the sources Friday.
NYCLASS helped to bankroll the “Anybody But Quinn” campaign attacking Quinn’s mayoral candidacy.
At least five people have been questioned by the FBI in the past month as part of the investigation, those familiar with the inquiry told The News.

The News first disclosed the FBI investigation on Friday, reporting that the FBI was looking at a threat by NYCLASS’ political consultant Scott Levenson early last year to undermine Quinn's campaign if she didn’t back the carriage horse ban.

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1769444.1398475094!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_1200/70683932.jpgT.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images De Blasio's cousin John Wilhelm (pictured) is the former head of the union group UNITE HERE!, which wrote a $175,000 check to NYCLASS in June 2013.

The new revelations indicate the investigation is broader, touching on de Blasio as well.
De Blasio said Friday that he was unaware of any investigation. He added that nobody in his campaign had been questioned.
“Literally, I’ve told you all I know. I’m not familiar with the allegations so I can’t comment,” de Blasio told reporters.

Levenson said through a spokeswoman that he had not been questioned by the FBI, either. But he said that he was “proud” of his consulting firm’s role in the mayoral race — which included directing the Anybody But Quinn attacks.

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1769442.1398475092!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_1200/fbi26n-5-web.jpgJulia Xanthos/New York Daily News (http://wirednewyork.com/photos/dn-photographers/photographer?author=Julia Xanthos) In March 2013, de Blasio announced at a candidates' forum that he would eliminate horse-drawn carriages during his first week as mayor — much to the delight of NYCLASS and other animal rights activists.

“Our advocacy for the issues and clients we fight for is no different than advocacy work that takes place in our democracy every day,” said the spokeswoman for his firm, The Advance Group.
“Even if you are not happy with the results, our campaign cannot be characterized as anything more than that, and the fact that it was effective.”

De Blasio announced at a candidates’ forum in March 2013 that he would eliminate the horse-drawn carriages in his first week as mayor, delighting NYCLASS and other animal rights activists.

In early April, after Quinn refused to support the proposed carriage ban, NYCLASS founder Steve Nislick, and board member Wendy Neu, gave $200,000 each to New York City is Not for Sale, the political action committee formed by Levenson to carry out the Anybody But Quinn campaign of TV ads, robocalls and mailings — which began that month — attacking her.
In May and June, NYCLASS chipped a total of $225,000 to the anti-Quinn effort, records show.

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1769446.1398478833!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_1200/fbi26n-1-web.jpgJeff Bachner for New York Daily News The FBI is looking into the ad blitz launched by animal rights advocates attacking de Blasio's chief rival, Christine Quinn, after she refused to support the proposed carriage horse ban.

And in June, two of de Blasio’s top financial supporters gave $225,000 to NYCLASS, records show.
One of those supporters was de Blasio’s cousin, Wilhelm, who was then head of the union group UNITE HERE!, which wrote a check for $175,000 to NYCLASS — the biggest contribution NYCLASS had ever received. The other was Jay Eisenhoffer, an attorney. Wilhelm and Eisenhoffer also acted as “intermediaries” for de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, collecting $165,000 in contributions for him, records show.

Still, de Blasio has said that neither he nor his campaign coordinated with NYCLASS or New York City is Not for Sale in attacking Quinn. Any such coordination could be a violation of campaign laws.
The Anybody But Quinn fusillade succeeded exactly as NYCLASS hoped. When the attacks began in April, Quinn was cruising in first place. By late June, she had fallen to third in the Democratic primary, which de Blasio won on Sept. 10.
With Jennifer Fermino

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/exclusive-fbi-probe-expands-de-blasio-mayoral-campaign-article-1.1769448#ixzz2zzzNo7vo

December 2nd, 2014, 10:36 PM
Lackluster support for de Blasio’s horse carriage ban

By Tara Palmeri and Michael Gartland

Photo: Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio will have to twist arms on the City Council to get the 26 votes he’ll need to pass a bill banishing carriage horses from Central Park in 2016.

A majority of council members told The Post on Monday that they’re either undecided on the measure or don’t agree that the plan to offer a green-taxi permit — worth about $6,000 — in exchange for a horse-drawn carriage license is fair.

“Based on conversations I’ve had with my colleagues, there’s more support for the industry than there is for a ban,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens).

“This is a labor-friendly council. I don’t believe this is an animal rights issue — it’s an anti-labor issue.”

Sources say the administration is prepared to up its offer — giving up to five green-cab permits per driver — to help close the deal.

But Teamsters Local 553 Executive Director Demos Demopoulos, whose union represents the 300 drivers, said there’s no way they’re trading hooves for wheels.

“We’re not interested in the green-cab thing,” he said.

The mayor also faces opposition from the Working Families Party, which is usually on his side, and from the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

“I think it’s a mistake,” Queens Democratic Councilman Rory Lancman said of the proposal.

“Trying to convert horse-carriage drivers into taxi drivers misunderstands that for horse-carriage drivers, this isn’t just a livelihood, it’s a way of life.”

Council sources said the mayor doesn’t appear to be putting all of his political might behind the legislation.

Some sources said he’s presenting a bill to appease the wealthy animal lovers who spent about $1 million on negative ads that took down rival Christine Quinn.

De Blasio promised to ban the carriage horses from Day One during his campaign.

“I can’t support this,” said another opponent, Democratic Councilman Mark Weprin of Queens.

“My argument all along has been that I won’t vote to eliminate jobs and tourism dollars. Handing out medallions doesn’t solve the job problem, and it certainly doesn’t solve the tourism problem.”

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) has been supportive of the ban from the start, but she acknowledged Monday that the bill faces tough going.

“I have confidence that we’re going to have a good, thorough debate on this one,” she said.

The mayor’s office declined comment.


(http://nypost.com/2014/12/01/lackluster-support-for-de-blasios-horse-carriage-ban/)De Blasio to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages in New York City

by Jeremiah Budin

Photo by Harris Graber (https://www.flickr.com/photos/monkeyone/3521485719/)

Mayor Bill de Blasio is finally following through on his campaign promise to ban horse-carriages and is set to introduce a bill next week (http://observer.com/2014/11/source-mayor-to-ban-horse-carriage-industry-offer-drivers-taxi-medallions/) that would eliminate all carriages by 2016. The debate over the carriages has been a strange one, with the Daily News (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/de-blasio-close-carriage-ban-report-article-1.2028594) and actor Liam Neeson (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/02/27/horsing_around.php) revealing themselves to be weirdly invested in saving the industry, as its proponents have contended that the city has ulterior motives for the ban. "They really just want our West Side stable for real estate development (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/02/25/developers_eye_stables_freed_by_looming_carriage_h orse_ban.php)," one anonymous carriage driver told the Post (http://nypost.com/2014/12/01/de-blasio-to-propose-horse-carriage-ban-next-week/). The city operates four carriage-horse stables on the West Side, all of which are zoned for commercial and residential buildings, and/or hotels. Two are in the immediate vicinity of Hudson Yards (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/categories/hudson_yards.php).

As a consolation, the carriage drivers will be offered free green taxi medallions on the condition that they purchase handicap-accessible cabs. The medallions, valued at around $6,000 each, are worth far less than the yellow taxi medallions. "If they offered me a green cab medallion I wouldn't take it," the same anonymous carriage driver told the Post.

Bill de Blasio to Ban Horse Carriage Industry, Offer Drivers Taxi Medallions: Source (http://observer.com/2014/11/source-mayor-to-ban-horse-carriage-industry-offer-drivers-taxi-medallions/) [NYO]
Mayor De Blasio poised to say 'neigh' to horse carriages (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/de-blasio-close-carriage-ban-report-article-1.2028594) [NYDN]
De Blasio to propose horse carriage ban next week (http://nypost.com/2014/12/01/de-blasio-to-propose-horse-carriage-ban-next-week/) [NYP]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/12/01/de_blasio_to_ban_horsedrawn_carriages_in_new_york_ city.php

December 2nd, 2014, 11:42 PM
Carriage Horse Proposal’s Effects Might Not Be as Good as Its Intentions


A horse waiting for a customer at Grand Army Plaza, near Central Park. Legislation to be introduced
in the City Council would ban carriage horses in the city.
Kirsten Luce for The New York Times

Mayor Bill de Blasio (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/d/bill_de_blasio/index.html?inline=nyt-per) declared this week that he will carry out a promise made during the mayoral campaign: to rid the city of the carriage horse.

Legislation will be introduced in the City Council any minute now, the mayor said, but many details remain to be aired out.

That makes the moment pregnant with questions.

Such as:

Is the still-unseen de Blasio plan good for horses or for people interested in developing the Midtown West real estate where they live?

Once the horses are banished, what will become of their stables and the 64,000 square feet of lots that they sit on, their value swelling by the day?

And what of the 220 or so carriage horses that now live in sprinkler-equipped homes and enjoy regular veterinary examinations and five weeks in the country annually? The group leading the campaign (http://www.nyclass.org/) to ban the carriage horse, New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, said it and other groups, like the Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, would ensure the well-being of the steeds.

“We’d be happy to provide lifetime care for all these animals,” Allie Feldman, the NYClass executive director, said. This is an offer that sets off fireworks at Burgundy Brook Farm in Palmer, Mass., a sanctuary and rescue farm (http://www.equiculture.org/burgundy-brook.aspx) for work horses where a number of carriage horses have retired.

“The horses in New York City are some of the healthiest and best taken care of I’ve ever seen,” said Pamela Rickenbach, the executive director of Blue Star Equiculture, which runs the farm.
Offering them new homes is like giving away ice in the winter.

“Those horses are not going to have any problem with finding a home,” she said. “They are so well adjusted to begin with. They are selected for their intelligence and their temperament.”

Horses with jobs, like pulling carriages, have pretty good homes already, Ms. Rickenbach and others said. But, they said, there is a national crisis of homeless horses — beautiful creatures who are expensive to provide for.

“We are completely over-full and overwhelmed,” Ms. Rickenbach said. “It seems impossible to address the problems of the homeless horse. Every day I could send them horses that need homes.”

Many horses that either land at the rescue farm, or in the rural community she lives in, are “in need of medical attention, or they’re underfed, starving.”

New York City and the animals that live here are not immune to the laws of supply and demand, and the mayor and council members who support the carriage horse ban ought to look at an earlier example of good intentions with horses that went awry.

The United States effectively banned slaughter of horses at the end of 2006, according to a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office, but the story took some bad turns.

“Horse welfare in the United States has generally declined since 2007,” the report found, citing increased abandonment and reports of neglect. “Abandoned, abused and neglected horses present challenges for state and local governments, tribes and animal welfare organizations.”

Ydanis Rodriguez, a councilman from Upper Manhattan who agreed to join the principal sponsor of the carriage ban legislation, Daniel Dromm of Queens, a fellow Democrat, was asked about possible unintended consequences of such a law.

What about putting generally healthy horses into competition with less-attractive or more troubled horses for limited farm space? Mr. Rodriguez invoked Gandhi and Cesar Chavez. But what about homes for other horses?

“We have to continue expanding more sanctuaries, for as many horses as we can,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “We cannot build a progressive city leaving behind our animals’ rights.”

One group of horses that face much higher stress than their parkside cousins will not have the same protections from the mayor and the City Council: horses owned by the city itself, mounted police patrols, which are often deployed to quell raucous crowds.

Some fascinating entries can be found on the certificate of occupancy for 770 11th Avenue, a relatively new building between 53rd and 54th Streets.

It describes the loading docks, the number of parking spaces and other details, including the primary occupant of its ground floor: a Mercedes-Benz car dealership.

But also sharing the ground floor space are stables for some of the Police Department’s horses.

“The bill would not touch the mounted police horses,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “This is only about the horses in Central Park.”


January 4th, 2015, 07:26 PM
Investigators tailing Central Park carriage-horse drivers (http://nypost.com/2015/01/04/pis-tailing-central-park-carriage-horse-drivers/)

By Georgett Roberts (http://nypost.com/author/georgett-roberts/), Shawn Cohen (http://nypost.com/author/shawn-cohen/) and Gary Buiso (http://nypost.com/author/gary-buiso/)

January 4, 2015 | 2:06am

A black tinted sedan shadows a horse-carriage in Central Park. Photo: Sandi Bachom

Private investigators are tailing carriage-horse drivers as they loop around Central Park — the latest and most bizarre chapter in the escalating war against the besieged buggy-men, The Post has learned.
“It was unnerving,” said rattled carriage horseman Bryan Northam. “He followed me on three short rides through the park. When I went home that night, I looked out my window to see if they were downstairs.”

The drivers, under fire since Mayor de Blasio vowed during his 2013 campaign to vanquish the more-than-100-year-old tradition from the park, said they first noticed the surveillance on Dec. 17.
Suspicious-looking vehicles either followed the carriages through Central Park or were parked for hours in spaces specially designated for the horsemen at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, drivers said.

Northam said he was even followed all the way to the stable at 52nd Street between 11th and 12th avenues.
The cars included SUVs and black sedans with tinted windows, but one apparent spy used two wheels to hound the drivers.
“One fellow got on a Citi Bike and followed a carriage right through the park, taking footage with a camcorder,” one carriage driver said. “It was pretty odd behavior.”

At least one of the vehicles captured on film by videographer Sandi Bachom belongs to a Long Island-based PI, a source confirmed. But it is unclear who sicced the private eyes on Mr. Ed
“They are here to monitor us,” said a second carriage horseman, who confronted one of the spies. “He said we should be extra careful and do everything above-board — watch the lights, watch the U-turns.”

The surveillance continued until Dec. 20, a Saturday — when only authorized vehicles are allowed in the park — leading some to speculate it was an NYPD tail or was made at the behest of Hizzoner.
“The car in Sandi’s video was in the park on a Saturday, when the park is closed to traffic except authorized vehicles. Which means either they were OK with risking a ticket or had approval to be there from the city,” one driver said.

“I saw one of them in our assigned spots, and I asked him if he was ‘on the job,’ ” said a third carriage driver, referring to police lingo for being a cop.
“He said, ‘Actually, we are watching you — so just be aware,” the carriage driver said.

A police source denied any involvement by the NYPD, saying it does not monitor the activity of horse carriages other than to the extent that they may be involved in any specific criminal violations.
“We are not conducting general video surveillance of them,” the source said. The mayor’s office also bucked at the suggestion Hizzoner was behind the tail.

“This is out of some fantasy world,” said de Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell. “There’s no truth to it whatsoever.”
Anti-horse-carriage group New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets denied any responsibility.“With their unsafe and inhumane practices exposed and the mayor planning a ban, it’s unfortunate industry leaders are falsely accusing us of this surveillance,” said Steve Nislick, NYCLASS president.

Recently introduced legislation in the City Council would ban the carriages as of May 2016. Buggy-backers say the ban would put some 350 jobs out to pasture.
“The people who want to put these workers out of a job should stop playing ‘gotcha’ and find animals that actually need their help,” said George Miranda, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16, which represents the carriage drivers.


January 5th, 2015, 12:07 PM
Wow. All the trouble that the mayor is having and he's wasting money to persecute a few carriage men.

January 8th, 2015, 07:47 PM
Maybe next, Cuomo's aides will send the word to the Port Authority to shut down carriage horse lanes

January 14th, 2015, 04:42 PM
Wow. All the trouble that the mayor is having and he's wasting money to persecute a few carriage men.

I mean, does the Mayor of NYC have to devote so much mental energy to something so insignificant and menial. An asinine waste of time for the political landscape, and newspaper paper for that matter.