Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Video: NYC Horse-Drawn Carriage Drivers Work Illegally in Parade During Snow Storm

March 4, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

NYC law prohibits horse-drawn carriage drivers from working their horses in snow, ice, heavy rain or other slippery conditions. But that didn’t stop them from working a horse at a St. Patrick’s Day Parade during a snowstorm.

Horse-drawn carriage works during snowstorm in a St. Patrick's Day parade

Horse-drawn carriage drivers break the law by working during a snowstorm

TheirTurn told several police officers who lined the parade route that the carriages drivers were breaking the law, but none of them took action.

horse-drawn carriage parade police

NYPD officers watch from the sidelines as horse-drawn carriage drivers break the law

The presence of two marching bands also didn’t keep the carriage operators away, even though the city’s horse-drawn carriage operator’s manual includes marching bands on the list of stimuli that spook horses.

Marching bands and horses don't mix well because drums can spook them

Marching bands and horses don’t mix well because drums can spook them

List of stimuli that spook horses in NYC Dept. of Health's horse-drawn carriage training manual

List of stimuli that spook horses in NYC Dept. of Health’s horse-drawn carriage training manual

In fact, it was a drum that spooked a NYC carriage horse named Smoothie, who bolted down 59th street, crashed into a tree and died in front of dozens of onlookers.

Smoothie crashed into a tree and died after being spooked by a drum in Midtown Manhattan

Smoothie crashed into a tree and died after being spooked by a drum in Midtown Manhattan

The carriage operators were very much aware of the risk, which explains why they held the reins.

horse-drawn carriage illegal

Carriage drivers hold the reins to prevent horse from bolting if drums spook him

As carriage operators illegally worked a horse in a parade in Queens, several others were breaking the law on the snowy streets of Manhattan.

Horse-drawn carriage drivers work during snowstorm in defiance of the law (photo: Bronx resident)

Carriage drivers work during snowstorm in defiance of the law (photo: Bronx resident)

Animal rights activists with NYCLASS, PETA and Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) also participated in the parade, bringing animal costumes instead of a living animal.

Danny Dromm

Council Member Danny Dromm (center) is lead sponsor on bill to ban horse-drawn carriages

The carriage drivers thanked the village of Sunnyside, Queens, by leaving behind a pile of horse manure on main street. Not to worry, NYC tax dollars will pay for the clean up.

New Yorkers are fined if they don't pick up after their dogs, but horse-drawn carriage drivers get a free pass

New Yorkers are fined if they don’t pick up after their dogs, but carriage drivers get a free pass

Your Turn

1. If you live in NYC, please ask your City Council Member to support the bill to ban horse-drawn carriages (Intro 573). If you live elsewhere, please sign their petition.

2. To learn more about the issue and keep apprised of news, subscribe to the weekly newsletter of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages.

3. Watch the award-winning documentary film BLINDERS to see why people have been fighting for years to take the horses out of NYC:



Comments via Facebook

TheirTurn.net Comments

  1. Elinor Hawke-Szady says:

    I agree with Audrey Stansbury above. This has NOTHING to do with heritage – it’s all about making money. My heritage is partially Irish, and I would NEVER DREAM of running a horse-drawn carriage business in any city or town. It’s just plain wrong. This isn’t the 18th or 19th century, and I ashamed that these people of Irish heritage are claiming this as one of their “traditions”. WAKE UP please. You make me ashamed that I am part Irish. Horses are beautiful, intelligent, magnificent creatures who deserve so much more than this life of misery.

  2. Jenna Fuentes says:

    it’s time to evolve with the modern times. We don’t live in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s. We now have an invention called ‘cars’ and oh yea, we have sneakers that can be used for walking.

  3. PLEASE, PLEASE, STOP DOING THIS. HORSES ARE NOT MEANT TO WORK IN CITIES. THEIR RESPIRATORY SYSTEMS ARE VERY SENSITIVE. THE FUMES FROM VEHICLES IRRITATE THEIR NOSTRILS AND LUNGS. THEIR HOOFS WERE NEVER INTENDED FOR CONSTANTLY BEING POUNDED ON PAVEMENT. THEY DON’T DESERVE THIS, HAVING SERVED HUMANS FOR YEARS, THEY DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH KINDNESS, AS YOU WOULD TREAT ANY LIVING THING.

    IT’S ABOUT MONEY!!!!! SO WHY NOT USE ELECTRIC CARRIAGES. THEY DON’T EAT, REQUIRE NO CLEAN UP, AND ARE ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE. SO, AGAIN, PLEASE STOP USING HORSES IN NY, OR ANY OTHER PLACE THEY WEREN’T INTENDED TO BE.

  4. rhoda titus says:

    poor horses! profit profit profit! that’s all people think about today

  5. Kelly Graham says:

    Ban horse drawn carriages! The carriage owners/drivers have no compassion or empathy for these horses! 100 years ago the horses wouldn’t be walking on concrete and ashpault. The streets rolled up at 5 or 6 pm so the horses wouldn’t be working 10 and 12 hours a day. 100 years ago the horse owners knew the value of a horses life. Today these people treat them as disposable!

  6. marney says:

    Ban carriage horses. It’s obvious that they don’t care about the horses when working in severe weather conditions.

  7. Jessica Garrett says:

    Stop using these horses to pull carriages! They deserve better!

  8. Sandra says:

    please stop this cruelty with NYC horses!!!

  9. audrey stansbury says:

    this has NOTHING to do with heritage they were there to MAKE MONEY.

  10. Laurel Lee says:

    Do what you said you were going to do

  11. Keili says:

    BAN HORSE- DRAWN CARRIAGES. Animals have rights too!

  12. How much longer are these carriage rides going to be tolerated? Tourists are quite happy to fund this cruelty so the mayor should find the backbone to ban them.

  13. bill beaudoin says:

    Please ban all horse-drawn carriages immediately.

  14. Natalie P says:

    Please ban all horse-drawn carriages immediately.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *