Saturday, December 12, 2015



There are good horse stables and there are bad horse stables.
Judge for yourself

    In NYC, the law allows carriage horse horse stalls to be as small as 60 square feet – 6’ x 10’ – even though many of the horses are large drafts weighing upwards of 2,000 pounds.  Equine  experts recommend stalls be 144 square feet or 12' x 12'  - with even more space
    provided to larger horses.  There is not enough space in NYC to do this right and the
    drivers want to cram in as many money-making machines (horses) as possible.  This is,
    after all, a business - not a horse-sanctuary.  When these horses cannot cut it anymore,
    they are gone.  
    The law does not require turnout to pasture since the land does not exist.  The law also
    allows the stalls to be on upper floors – accessible by a steep ramp.  How steep is it you
    ask?  Imagine a warehouse building with two floors connected by a staircase.  Remove
    the stair and replace it with a ramp, which because of the small space, is very steep.  This
    is how the horses access their stalls.  It is uncomfortable for them,  especially the older
    ones, to go up and down every day. The ideal is to have the stalls on the first floor.  

   These are some pictures published by ChelseaNow lauding these stables as old New 
    York.  But they are not historical landmark material.  They are just old, smelly, decrepit 
   buildings that warehouse horses like a prison. 

   These pictures are available for the public via this newspaper.  However they are nothing
   to be proud of. 

Chateau Stables on 48th St. - This stall is too small for this carriage horse at 60 square feet.   The horse still wears a  halter.  Although permissible, it is obviously done for the convenience of the drivers.  But it is uncomfortable for a horse to wear it 24/7.   More proof that these horses are just "products" and money making machines. 

Carriage Horse stable - Although Liam Neeson might want to live here, it is a disaster for horses.  Note that it has one means of egress in the middle.  If there were a fire, the horses would panic trying to descend a ramp to get out one exit.   This is what the unions and City Council want to preserve? 

Carriage Horse stable - Clinton Stables  on 52nd St. - It is not OK for a horse to be sharing his oats with pigeons.  The pigeons defecate on the oats in the bucket, which is then eaten by the horses. 

West Side Livery on 38th St. - small and cramped and dirty.  Couldn't they at least have cleaned up for the photographer?  I guess they did not care. 
 Again - horses wearing halters.


This stable belongs to a rescue in Massachusetts.  The stalls are 12' x 12' with a 10' wide aisle.  Note the horses are not wearing halters while resting.  The name of this rescue is withheld to prevent them from being harassed.  

Horses are herd animals and love to graze.   This is something that is not available for them in NYC. 

      NYC should not be supporting this business.  It is cruel and inhumane to the horses.  No 
     matter how hard the carriage owners, Liam Neeson, some of the Council members and 
     others try to make this look romantic and "olde New York."  it is inhumane and marks NYC
     as one that does not care about animals. 
     It is also unsafe and dangerous to people whether the horses are housed in Hells Kitchen or Central Park.
     Additionally, the 68 medallion owners are the only ones who make out here -- not the
      drivers.  Do not believe that there are 350 "good union jobs."  There are only 120 drivers
     who belong to the union and they receive no benefits. 

     Unions are losing membership all over the country and they need this to show their
    strength.  But it is based on a lie at the expense of the horses.  The Mayor and Council 
    Members are terrified that the unions will come after them in the next election. 
    So in the end -- what are they trying to protect?  What is really behind all of this nonsense?

    Is this the kind of city you want to live in?  


Sunday, December 6, 2015


(please write letter posted below - all info provided)  

Just before the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday, when  fewer people were  paying attention, the NY Times reported that Mayor deBlasio plans to REDUCE not BAN the carriage trade.  This took us by surprise.  The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages started this campaign in 2006 - a culmination of 15 previous years of working on this issue.    Yet the Mayor has never once reached out to us to consult or ask our opinion.  Why?  MONEY TALKS and without it, you do not have  a seat at the table.  Unfortunately this is what our mayor is all about.  Remember his campaign  phrase "tale of two cities?"  Sounded catchy at the time, but he is the worse offender - exacerbating the "two cities" concept by only listening to big donors. 

Here are some of the recent articles.


For starters - please accept that this will not happen.  The carriage trade is already opposing it because it cuts jobs.  It would be easier to get a total ban than to go through these kinds of machinations. 

While the details have not been released yet, the Mayor is talking about reducing the number of horses in the industry to 70  -  down from approximately 200 and moving them into Central Park.    Will the City build a costly new stable on public park land for a private industry -- built with public money?   Or will they try to cram these  horses into the existing stables in Central Park that were used to house 5 horses?   Anything is possible.  If you think this will come with pasture turnout and appropriately sized stalls - think again and take off your blinders. 

This will not only require approval by the City Council but because of state law governing parks -- if the plan is to build, it will also require the approval of the NYS legislature and Governor Cuomo -- unless they figure out a way around it.  Very possible. 


Mostly, this is a transparent ploy to stave off criticism by activists (letters, public protests) that Mayor deBlasio has not fulfilled his promise of banning the inhumane and unsafe carriage trade – because he is too weak.   deBlasio’s ratings have sunk and he is trying to do damage control. The mayor has two years to reelection and he wants to keep the activist community at bay.  Will you fall for it?  That is the question to answer.

The Mayor is quoted in the NY Times as saying "he made a commitment to his supporters and wants to show he is a man of his word."  News flash.   He promised to BAN the inhumane and unsafe trade - nothing less. That is not being true to his "word" at all. 


For some reason, the mayor and his staff, who do not have much knowledge about the horses, are suggesting that this is all about the "horses in traffic."  They would be wrong although that is certainly one of the concerns. It is about so much more -- the punishing existing of working 9 hours a day, 7 days a week - in all kinds of weather; the inadequate sized stalls - 1/2 the size that experts recommend; no turnout to pasture; being sent to kill auctions when no longer wanted ; little to no law enforcement - allowing the drivers to make illegal U-turns; leaving their horses unattended and untethered; overloading carriages, etc.

The horses' nature will not change.  They are still prey animals and can spook at the slightest provocation, becoming unwitting weapons when they bolt  -  able to cause injury or death to themselves or innocent passersby.  This is not going to change because they live in Central Park.
The hack line on Central Park South will most likely remain because this is where the drivers get their customers.  But this is also where many of the accidents occur.


This was a study of the carriage trade required by the proposed bill, Intro 573.  We do not know what it "studied" because that information was never released.   It was completed in June, 2015 but never officially published.    Months ago, we put through a Freedom of Information request - (FOIL)  but continue to get monthly e-mail responses saying it is delayed until "next month."  Why the lack of transparency?  We want to know what the Mayor is hiding? 


Although we have never thought the existing stable property in Hell's Kitchen was a consideration in banning the horse carriage trade, this proposal is suspicious – if the drivers buy it – and they probably will not – their four stables will be freed up – and they will probably sell them. Interesting? We think so.


The Mayor could have done this right if he had listened to us and others at the beginning – instead of those who gave him big donations. He could have opted for the proposal to replace the horse carriages with RETROFITTED CARRIAGES – with no horses. (NOT ELECTRIC CARS) The drivers should have jumped at this opportunity.  They complain that people insult them and call them horse abusers but as long as horses are involved, this will not change whether they move into the park or not.  They will never work in an industry where they and their families can be proud of what they do because of the ongoing attacks.   Liam Neeson can try to defend them by saying they love their horses like children, but this will not stop a passerby from shouting "get a real job, horse abuser."  The drivers need to face facts - This is simply the way it is.

if they were serious about this complaint, they would look for viable ways to continue in something that closely resembled their current business but did not have horses.  Retrofitted carriages would allow them to continue with the same business model; they would have been in control; still kept their stables to store the same carriages they always used but now would be  retrofitted.   The cost was a fraction of the electric cars – Maybe $20,000 each compared to $200,000 for an electric car. Instead the drivers foolishly dug in their heels saying “no compromise.”

Now they run the risk of losing everything.

The Mayor is not keeping his word and this is NOT a step in the right direction. Don’t be fooled. We want ALL the horses retired to sanctuaries – after all when slavery was abolished, no one agreed to reduce the number of people kept as slaves – it was total abolition. We will accept nothing less.


Please contact the people below who are in the deBlasio administration and tell them that the Mayor must show the leadership abilities for which we elected him and that he must make this ban happen.  A promise made is a promise made to be kept - See sample letter below:

If you do not contact these policy makers, nothing will happen.  So please do it! 

Anthony Shorris - First Deputy Mayor

Marco Carrion - Commissioner of Community Affairs

Emma Wolfe - Intergovernmental

Jeffrey Dupee - Community Affairs

Ramon Martinez - Speaker's Office,,,, 

This is a sample letter -- just copy and paste: 

Honorable Officials,
I am writing to express my extreme disappointment and displeasure over the failure in leadership demonstrated by Mayor DeBlasio, concerning the issue of the carriage horse ban.  While the Mayor claims he has done everything possible to move this forward, and ban supporters have made every effort to contact their own Council members, it appears that he has absolutely no clout with the City Council in getting them to support his bill.  Why then would New Yorkers want to re-elect someone who is so weak?

We do not support the new plan to reduce the size of the industry.  It appears to be a ploy to keep the activist community at bay.

The Mayor must show the leadership abilities for which we elected him and must make this ban happen or I will certainly not support or vote for him again.  A promise made is a promise made to be kept!