A Spooked Horse can Kill!
When you were a kid, did your mother ever tell you that you had a “thick skull” because you did not want to listen to her ...
or that you were "thick headed" because you just refused to follow her advice? ... or maybe she just called you a blockhead.
Well that is what the NY City Council and Mayor are when it comes to comprehending a basic truth about carriage horses. All they have to do is to remember a few words -- "prey animals", "fearful", "bolt", and "unwitting weapons" -- and understand their implication.
Horses are prey animals, which means that regardless of their large size, they are fearful of real or imagined terrors. They are predictably unpredictable and when frightened, they will bolt and run away, charging into cars, people, trees – anything that is in their way – anything to escape. At 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, they become unwitting weapons and you better get out of their way if you see them coming!
We have told our electeds about the problems with NYC's horses …. many, many times. … but the political environment (special interests) is just too strong in good old NYC so this dangerous and inhumane trade is allowed to continue. Horse-drawn carriages are an accident waiting to happen – particularly in highly traffic congested New York City where these flimsy, slow moving carriages mix in with cars, taxis, buses, fire trucks, ambulances, bikers, police cars, pedicabs -- anything on wheels.
Horses have died – will a person be next?
On July 4th weekend, a pair of horses spooked in a parade in Iowa and bolted, killing one woman and injuring 25 people. On Monday, August 9th, the Austrian Press reported a tragic accident in Hinterglemm, Salsburg where a horse spooked, bolted and trampled a 73-year-old French woman who was on vacation. She died on the way to the hospital.
In the last couple of years, two five year old girls, with their lives barely begun, were the victims of a spooked carriage horse -- one in a parade in Tucson, AZ - the other in St. Petersburg, Russia. Both were trampled to death.
So it seems like the handwriting is on the wall as Mom use to say - or did she cite Murphy's law that said if anything can go wrong, it will eventually?
As for me, I say it is only a matter of time before there is a tragic accident involving a person - so isn't it better to be safe than sorry?
There is a bill in the City Council - Intro 86 - which will create a new green industry of vintage hybrid/electric cars to take the place of horse-drawn carriages - providing jobs and investment opportunities for those displaced and mandating good homes and sanctuary for the horses.
The bill is not going anyplace because the present administration refuses to see the truth -- and because of politics. And they wonder why people have lost faith in the system.... why so many intelligent and thoughtful people do not vote any more. This is why -- because Council Members are elected by their constituents and are ultimately accountable to those constituents -- not the Council Speaker -- but tell them that once they get into office. That's when they forget who they work for...
Send the article about this tragic accident in Austria to your Council Member and to Mayor Bloomberg. Tell them it is about time that they got serious about people's safety and banned horse-drawn carriages in NYC. This deadly accident happened in Salzburg, it can happen in NYC.
Council - click here
Mayor - click here
This is the sad article from Austria -- Austria Independent - August 9, 2010
Tourist killed by bolting horse
A French woman suffered fatal head and chest injuries when a bolting horse charged into her on Saturday, it has emerged.
Officials in Hinterglemm, Salzburg, said today (Mon) the 73-year-old – on holiday with her husband – died in an ambulance on its way to a nearby clinic after the dramatic incident.
Police said the 16-year-old Haflinger pulling a carriage driven by a local pensioner, 67, had bolted and galloped over the woman standing on the sidewalk watching the local customs procession.
It is not known what caused the horse to start nor whether the uninjured animal will be put down over the accident.
This incident comes after a series of accidents involving Fiaker horse carriages in the federal capital Vienna.
A Fiaker driver had to be hospitalised after he was run over by his own carriage earlier this year. The man got off his parked vehicle when his two horses bolted. The animals, reportedly startled by a passing tram, trampled over the man before coming to a halt after a few metres.
An unnamed horse carriage raced through the Viennese city centre in another incident after being stirred up by the sound of a skateboard. The driver gave chase in a colleague’s carriage. Two parked cars were damaged before the carriage was eventually halted after its one-kilometre ride.
Horse carriages are a popular feature of local processions and traditional events, while thousands of tourists take them for a ride through the picturesque city centres of Vienna and Salzburg every year.