Summer is drawing to a close and with that comes the arrival of fashion week in New York City. Our carriage horses will once again be in the news because they will be carrying the models as they make their grand entrance to the runway. This is a good time to remind us all that the horse carriages are a beloved time honored tradition for New Yorkers and tourists alike. Unlike so many things that can polarize a city, the horses are not a political issue. The three major newspaper publications in our city are all in support of the horse carriages and the charm and spirit that they bring to the fabric of our city.
Several months ago the New York Daily News featured an article about the carriage industry and some of the politicians absurd ideas to replace the horses with costly electric antique cars. Our carriage animals are well cared for and suited for work in an urban environment. As quoted from the Daily News, “Then there’s the absurdity of retiring 200 animals that currently have five weeks of vacation, ample vet visits, guaranteed retirement at age 26 and regulated limits on the temperature in which they may clip-clop. In place of all that, they would be put to pasture — albeit one that doesn’t exist.” These ‘not-so-thoroughbreds’ would end up in slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada.
The New York Post echoed the sentiments of the Daily News and reported that, “…carriage horses now get five weeks of vacation in the country every year — nearly as much as a city schoolteacher.” They went on to expose the lies that ASPCA told and apologized for regarding the death by natural causes of Charlie the carriage horse.
As far back as 2011, the New York Times reported how replacing the carriage horses with ‘dreary’ electric cars would take the magic out of a visit to the city. They went on to comment on the regulations of the horse carriage industry, and how well the animals are cared for in their home, Clinton Park Stables. ‘“They have large stalls, water that flows with the nudge of a nose and plenty of hay. “These horses were bred to pull a carriage,” says Dr. Dennis Farrell, a veterinarian who helps the city with its large horse population (think police, etc.).”’
Our fight in support of the New York City carriage horses is far from over. They will steal our hearts during fashion week and continue to add to the quality of life of New Yorker and tourist alike.