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There are approximately 200 Horses suffering in New York City's cruel and abusive horse drawn carriage industry. The Horses are forced to pull heavy loads for hours on end in sweltering heat on busy streets, and are at risk of injury, exhaustion, and death. Although the majority of New Yorkers oppose Horse drawn carriages, the industry is kept afloat mainly by tourism.

In August 2022, a carriage horse named Ryder collapsed on a busy Manhattan Street during rush hour. He was beaten by the driver with whips and reins to get him to stand up. The ordeal lasted 45 minutes while cars and buses drove by and horrified onlookers watched. Ryder was later transferred to a sanctuary where he died months later. Unfortunately, several other Horses have also been injured or died in NYC's cruel horse drawn carriage industry. NYC must take a stand against animal abuse and ban Horse drawn carriages.  

Wherever you live, CLICK HERE to contact New York Mayor Eric Adams and urge him to ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC and replace them with non-animal eCarriages.



11/25/2019: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed Intro 1425A—the Carriage Horse Heat Relief Bill—into law to alleviate the misery horses are forced to endure while working in the scorching summer heat.

8/30/2018: NYC carriage horses were officially moved out of busy traffic on 59th Street and into three locations inside of the car-free park! While the hack line move is a step in the right direction as NYC carriage horses will no longer be forced to work in traffic on the dangerous city streets.

8/30/2018: The Department of Transportation submitted new draft rules outlining NYC Mayor de Blasio's plan to move the current horse-drawn carriage hack line into Central Park. 


New York Carriage Horse Industry Investigation 

LCA investigated the New York City carriage horse industry and exposed routine violations of the laws and regulations that protect both horses and people. The undercover video, narrated by Emmy Award-winning actress Edie Falco, reveals carriage horses operating in dangerous traffic conditions, deprived of access to water, and forced to work while injured. 

LCA’s undercover footage revealed:
  • Drivers making U-turns the wrong way down one-way streets and running red lights
  • Horses left unattended and untethered on the “hack line” surrounding Central Park even while small children are present
  • Horses tethered on short leads in their stalls at night, preventing them from reaching food and water and/or lying down
  • One driver refusing to let his horse access water during a ride when the city temperature was above 80 degrees
  • One horse, that was limping, forced to pull his carriage back to the stables, then put back to work without veterinary examination
LCA has filed complaints with the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, Department of Transportation, Department of Consumer Affairs and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  all of which are responsible for enforcing New York City's carriage horse laws and regulations.
Dr. Holly Cheever, DVM and Vice President of the New York State Humane Association, reviewed the investigation video and concluded, “LCA’s analysis of New York’s carriage horse trade as detailed in its petition is completely accurate in its discussion of the hazards, cruelty, and the many violations of NYC Codes and Rules. Given the overall condition of the animals, quality of the ancient stabling, and hazards of their urban lives makes this tourist industry inherently cruel, in my professional opinion.”

Carriage Horse Injuries and Fatalities in NYC

There have been numerous incidents of horse carriage-related accidents in New York City, including serious injuries sustained by drivers, horses, customers, and passers-by.  These include a child falling out of a carriage and run over by the wheel, a horse collapsing and dying in the street, and numerous cases of carriage drivers fleeing the scenes of accidents. Many of these drivers are never held accountable. These are some of the horrifying incidents:

7/2022 - Billy, a 14-year-old carriage Horse, was found dead in his stall during a heat wave. It was reported by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that Billy died of colic.

6/2022 - Freddy, a frightened carriage Horse, ran into oncoming traffic the wrong way, eventually crashing into two cars. Frustrated drivers aggravated the situation by honking their horns.

6/2022 - Luciana, a carriage Horse, collapsed in Central Park and could not get up for an hour. Horrified onlookers watched and screamed as Drivers pulled on her tail and pushed on her neck to get her to stand.

9/2021 - A Horse pulling a carriage crashed into a car in Manhattan. The Horse collapsed and was unconscious for several minutes.

7/2021 - In an unprovoked attack, a shirtless man punched and kicked three carriage Horses in Central Park.

3/2020 - Aisha, a 12-year-old carriage Horse, collapsed in Central Park and was later euthanized.

10/2018 - A carriage Horse collapsed South of Central Park. The driver was reported to have been acting recklessly.

1/2018 - A Horse drawn carriage overturned near Central Park, sending the Horse and driver both into shock.

2/2017 - Max, a carriage Horse, collapsed in Central Park.

5/2017 - After being spooked by traffic, Billy, a carriage Horse, crashed into a taxi. Billy was trapped underneath the taxi before being freed by bystanders.

11/2016 - Norman, a 14-year-old carriage Horse, collapsed in Manhattan and went down for 10 minutes. A Witness reported the driver was screaming at Norman to make the green light before he collapsed.

2/2015 - Tickles, an 18-year-old carriage Horse, was euthanized after suffering a leg fracture.

6/2014 - Pumpkin, a 6-year-old carriage Horse, ran loose into Central Park, ran into traffic, then struck a taxi.

4/2014 - Frank Luo, a carriage driver, was accused by the Health Department of falsifying records. Luo allegedly tried to pass Ceasar, a 22-year-old asthmatic carriage Horse who was supposed to be resting on a farm, off as Carson, a 12-year-old Horse.

12/2013 - Saverio Colarusso, a carriage driver, was charged with animal cruelty after forcing a Horse with an injured leg to pull carriages for four days. He was previously charged with drinking on the job.


Public Safety Risks

Not only are Horse drawn carriages cruel to animals, they also create public safety risk as well. Throughout the years there have been numerous well-documented incidents of accidents and deaths caused by Horse drawn carriages. These are some of several incidents involving Horse drawn carriages that have occurred in the U.S. and abroad:

2021, Niagara Falls, NY - A 5-year-old boy was hospitalized and checked for internal bleeding after falling off a Horse drawn carriage. The boy leaned over the side, fell off, and was ran over by a rear carriage wheel.

2021, Tewksbury, MA - A 74-year-old man suffered a possible traumatic spinal cord injury after falling off a Horse drawn carriage.

2019, Savannah, GA - A Horse carriage overturned and 7 people were taken to hospital. The Horse became scared after a tree branch fell nearby and ran out of control, tipping the carriage over on a curb.

2007, St. Petersburg, Russia - Five-year-old Valeriya Kolodyazhnaya — the daughter of the mayor of Sochi — was killed in a horrific horse-drawn carriage accident. A car collided with the carriage, causing Valeriya to fall onto the road; she was admitted to the hospital with severe injuries, and later died.

1996, Branson, MO - A 10-year-old boy was killed after a Horse drawn wagon overturned at a theme park.


What You Can Do:

  • Wherever you live, CLICK HERE to contact New York Mayor Eric Adams and urge him to ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC.


CLICK HERE to learn more about LCA's ongoing campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City.


Investigation Gallery:

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