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NYC Activists to Crash Fashion Designer’s Horse-Drawn Carriage Runway Show

August 22, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

Victor de Souza, a celebrity fashion designer who has created dresses for Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, is using horse-drawn carriages in the busy streets of Midtown Manhattan for his September 3rd runway show. The Argentinian designer says the horses perfectly represent the “romantic” vision of his collection. Activists who have been fighting to end NYC’s inhumane, unsafe and archaic horse-drawn carriages will crash this last ditch promotion of the industry. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to take the carriages off the streets by the end of the year.

Photo: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

Photo: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

Your Turn

If NYC’s horse-drawn carriage trade wasn’t the subject of a highly publicized war between the industry and those who want to ban it, would Mr. de Souza have chosen to use carriages in his fashion show? Probably not. De Souza knows this stunt will get press coverage because of the controversy (it already has), and he knows he will get even more press coverage because of the planned protests. Is all PR good PR?  Maybe – unless a horse spooks on the “runway,” and a fashion model flies head first onto the pavement. Perhaps de Souza will cancel the show if he feels he has already received enough free publicity. Please sign PETA’s petition and, if you live in the NYC area, join the protest. Finally, please watch the award-winning documentary film BLINDERS if have any questions about why horse-drawn carriages must be banned from NYC.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Donny Moss says:

    I don’t know if the fashion designer got the PR that he wanted or if the protests ruined the show for him. Either way, his unglamorous exploitation of the horses puts him on the wrong side of history:

  2. horse lover says:

    using any animal for entertainment, cash or just because it is a tradition is wrong. Nothing more to say. De Souza, use another form of publicity to help your sinking career. You seem to be desperate and that is a sad state of afairs. Hey, Ms. Derryberry, remember to keep your hands to yourself and not touch others in this city, that is a dangerous thing to do, to touch or grab anyone in NYC that you do not know.

    1. Barbara S says:

      “using any animal for entertainment, cash or just because it is a tradition is wrong.”

      Says who? You? Using your criteria, we should just “liberate” all pets and livestock now. Sorry. That’s not gonna’ happen. There is nothing wrong with working with an animal as a partner. If they “choose” not to be a partner, they are all capable of inflicting great pain or death upon any human.

      1. Mariluti M says:

        Omg ……first I think this article should say that this individual believes that horses suffering and being slaved around pulling carriages all day long are what perfectly represent the romantic vision of his stuff…..My Gosh he must have had a very troubled childhood to think that …That is a romantic vision……because to me it would be horses running on a field, being loved and living with dignity.
        I DONT KNOW any of the above mentioned women like Barbara S…Jill Derryberry but their words are poisonous and so elaborated that there is no feeling in them except blah blah blah……I guess they must live under precarious conditions that make them believe that this treatment towards horses or any animal is ok. Shame on you if you dont understand what living with dignity is…and there is no dignity when your soul is trapped in a body that you cant control and is being used as a moneymaker…….and then u say Barbara that animals when they dont like something they express it inflicting pain?….omg is that what u think?….so it is a catch 22 ….because it is a slow and painful death if they dont express what they feel ( and according to u they enjoy it) and a brutal one if they do it because then animals are shot and killed if they hurt a person.
        Jill Derryberry, Barbara S, Marcia Curran…..get outta here and stop being shallow….and if that is all u got…may God have pity on your souls!

        1. Barbara S says:

          “being slaved around”-Where did you learn to speak English? Slave is a noun, not a verb.

          Don’t know where to start with you, Mariluti. You are living in a fantasy world. Carriage horse supporters seem cruel to you because we live in reality. When you are ready to look at the world – and horses – as they are, and not how you wish them to be, then we can have a discussion.
          That being said, you should know that I have 38 yrs of experience with horses.I learned a lot about them in that time. I know my horses as individuals, and not just the pretty vision that you see in movies. My horses are my “family”. I care for them and always put their needs before mine, because that’s what real horsemen do. The work is 24/7/365. I don’t get real vacations, and if I’m away for a day, I worry about them. I would never deliberately put my horses in a situation I thought they couldn’t handle, and the same is true for the NYC horses and their owners.
          No life is without risk, and it is impossible to remove all risk, but the carriage horses are safer working in NYC than they would be in most other places. The regulations and the number of people watching them guarantee them care they might not get elsewhere. There are NO sanctuaries filled with wide open grassy fields waiting for them. That is one of the lies being told by NYCLASS.
          You should try to learn something about horses before telling those of us who work with them on a daily basis what they need. You have no clue! Calling them slaves is anthropomorphizing them. What a horse wants more than anything else is to feel safe & secure. That is more important than food to them. How do I know that? Because if a predator came along, they would stop eating and leave. I know the carriage horses feel safe & secure by their body language. That is how they communicate to each other. What you mistake for looking sad is the posture of a calm, sleepy horse.
          So, until you get an education about the real life of horses in this country, I recommend you stop showing how ignorant you are by repeating the lies told by animal rights activists. Why should any horseman listen to you when it is obvious you don’t know what you are talking about.

  3. Barbara S says:

    Donny, the horses are privately owned. They are not available for adoption unless NYCLASS and the Mayor plan on confiscating them. That’s a nice way of calling them horse thieves.
    I realize that people who believe in “social” justice think they can rewrite the laws to suit their new agenda (like freeing animals that they refer to as “slaves”), but we still have laws on the books that are about “equal” justice and private property. What a crazy concept.
    Oh, and why haven’t all those potential adopters brought home a horse from an auction or rescue? The answer is they are hypocrites. They aren’t interested in saving a homeless horse, they just want someone else’s well trained, healthy horse.

    1. Donny Moss says:

      When your “property” is a living, breathing being; is being put in harm’s way every day; is deprived of the ability to do anything that comes naturally to him or her, and then is sold into slaughter, activists step in and attempt to change the law. Social justice movements always grow and get stronger.

      1. Barbara S says:

        You have every right to try and change the law. You do not have a right to ignore it when it suits your agenda, or to slander and libel carriage proponents.
        The horses are not being put “in harm’s way” any more than you put your children “in harms way” when you put them in a car to travel somewhere. Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere to anyone. We don’t define having an accident as abuse, and I’ve seen horses have accidents in pastures.
        They are not deprived of the ability to do anything natural. They eat,sleep,exercise and have companionship with other horses. They can lie down and roll in their stalls if they want to. Horses normally sleep standing up. I’m sure you have a picture in your mind of horses “running free”. I’ve observed from my herd that older horses aren’t really interested in running for the fun of it. They run when the insects annoy them, or when one of them sees a spook. The rest of the time, they are looking for something to eat or to amuse them.
        The NYC horses are not sold to slaughter when they retire, but if they lose their jobs, they lose their security. That’s why we keep telling you people to stop trying to ban them. With friends like you, they don’t need enemies.
        I hope to God that social justice doesn’t replace equal justice. If it does, you will see government sanctioned discrimination against whatever group isn’t in power. Much like what we are already seeing happening in this country. Is that what you really want? Be careful what you ask for. One day, you might be the one discriminated against.

      2. Barbara S says:

        Do you also oppose police horses, police dogs, seeing eye dogs, search and rescue dogs, etc? All of them fit the same criteria you set for the carriage horses.
        For that matter, what about all the pet dogs in NYC that live in apartments? That’s not exactly a natural environment.
        And, it would be remiss of me to not point out that living in high rise buildings with indoor plumbing is not what nature intended for humans, either.

  4. Maximus says:

    The people who support the carriage trade are those who exploit animals. There is no question about that and we see it every time. They make things up about the horses, how much they love their jobs and want to work dragging silly, ignorant tourists around the park. But these people are terrified that their life style is being threatened. They are afraid they will not be able to find a hamburger anymore; or buy the new status symbol purebred dog; or wear leather shoes.

    sorry Ms. Jill but you are so wrong. You could not care less about horses. Girl -you are shallow and superficial working for a fashion magazine. pathetic. But hey look at this report done last year about the very high turnover in the NYC carriage trade. It is based on information from the Department of Health. 529 horses in a period of 7 1/2 years. Homes are not found for these horses. They are discarded like yesterday’s garbage. You are supposed to be a researcher – but what do you research – fashion trends?

    The carriage drivers do not send their horses to slaughter. Of course not. They launder them through the Amish farmers who take them to auction where many are picked up by kill buyers. It would take too much time for them to go to New Holland directly.

    As for this so called “fashion designer.” Sounds to me like he was scared of competition from the other designers and wanted to make a splash using a controversial issue. So are all the carriage drivers going to wear Mr. deSouza’s clothes from now on. That is too funny to comprehend.

  5. Robert says:

    Horse drawn carriages are gross. It is cruel for the horses and Central Park south smells. We have bicycle cabs for people to ride through the park. Get the horses of the road and out of the way.

  6. Kathryn Baker says:

    Note the wistful tone with which Mr. Moss expresses his thoughts about an accident involving passenger injury. The extremists live for those moments, with cameras ready, looking forward to adding to their collection of injury porn. No compassion for the head trauma he conjures up, just longing for the photo op and the resulting PR impact.

    1. Donny Moss says:

      What is “extreme” here is having horses pull carriages in the congested streets of midtown Manhattan. Attempting to end this inhumane, unsafe and anachronistic practice is not extreme.

  7. Jil Derryberry says:

    Speaking of publicity — it should be noted that the author is the director of the documentary film “Blinders.”

    That said — Can the author or anyone explain to me the laser focus on NYC carriage horses? 21 horses died on the track at Aqueduct in 2012 — NO PROTEST. Two NYPD horses ran loose in the streets this summer (June in the Bronx and July in midtown Manhattan) — NO PROTEST. A twin-horse hitch in this year’s Gay Pride Parade — NO PROTEST. Why is the focus restricted SOLELY to carriage horses?

    1. Donny Moss says:

      Ms. Derryberry. The other forms of exploitation and abuse also deserve attention. We need more activists! I hope you will pick one of these issues and address it with laser focus, which will increase the chances that that particular abuse is curbed or stopped.

      1. Jil Derryberry says:

        So, by your response, I take it you are against the NYC police horses as well? What I am against is putting one more horse at risk of being sent to slaughter abroad because a home cannot be found for them. Every year, 160,000 American horses are, according to the Humane Society of the United States. How would putting 220 carriage horses out of a job help that situation?

        1. Donny Moss says:

          1) I don’t think any horses belong in midtown traffic. 2) Dozens of people have offered to adopt the carriage horses. The reason we have so many unwanted horses in this country in the first place is because people who use horses to make money dispose of them when they can no longer work. If we reduce the demand by eliminating industries that harm horses, then the number of unwanted horses will decline over time.

          1. Kelly Day says:

            Actually Donny… The reason there are so many horses in need of rescue is because people get horses thinking that is all just blissful rides into the sunset. But the reality comes into play and people realize that they have to spend big bucks to feed them and everything that comes along with careing for them. Not to mention training or vet bills. It is a huge responsibility. Do you know first hand what it takes to care for a horse? To wake up every morning to feed and check on them before you feed yourself? To spend your time cleaning stalls, cleaning tack, bathing them, working with them, fixing barns and stalls and fences because it’s a never ending job. Just to get home and be so tired that you can’t even feed yourself, spend time with family, and it is everything you can do to climb in the shower and wash yourself off? And heaven forbid you have a sick horse because that means hours if not days of “sleeping” in the barn to make sure that your baby pulls through. I do, and I guarantee you that those Carriage drivers do. And you guys want to make it even harder on them by waving signs in their faces and telling lies about how they don’t care and, worse off, that they are abusing them. Those horses are lucky to have homes, careing owners, and a job that guarantees that their needs can be met. You guys want to take that away from them to take the place in a home that could be taking on a horse that really needs rescuing.

    2. Stop your madness says:

      Why is Jill Derryberry of Hearst/Harper Bazaar such a troll on every page?

  8. I think Marcia has inhaled too much horse manure!

  9. I think Marcia has inhaled a little too much horse manure!

  10. Marcia Curran says:

    Besides all the other wonderful things about the NYC Carriage Horses, from where I sit they look like one of the safest modes of transportation in the city. This is going to be a wonderful show! Go enjoy it!

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