Legally Brief: Traffic Reports Finally Released in Horse Carriage Accidents

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF Executive Director on November 20, 2014

Legally Brief

ALDF has acquired shocking new records about horse-drawn carriage accidents documented by the New York Police Department (NYPD). In April 2014, the New York Supreme Court validated ALDF’s concern about the mistreatment of horses in the carriage industry and ordered the NYPD to produce the public documents ALDF had requested more than a year and a half previously under New York’s Freedom of Information Law. Those NYPD records show that keeping carriage horses on the streets of New York isn’t safe for anybody.

One of the most alarming revelations in the NYPD reports are allegations that New York carriage drivers have committed more than a dozen “hit-and-runs” during the past five years, fleeing the scene of traffic accidents. Further, the NYPD records recount 25 previously unreported horse carriage accidents—including one in which a child was run over by the wheel of a horse carriage after falling from the carriage itself. That child “suffered injuries to stomach, chest and head” and had to be rushed to New York’s Presbyterian Hospital. Another incident describes a horse carriage colliding with another vehicle, causing the carriage driver to be thrown from the carriage and found by police, “laying in street, not moving.” After the collision, the carriage horse broke free and “kept running downtown toward 59th Street,” colliding with at least two parked taxicabs, and reported as “hitting cars,” kicking, and suffering a “possible broken leg.” Even NYPD police officers are listed as being injured during these incidents.


Yet it is the carriage horses themselves who remain the most vulnerable of all. Just a few weeks ago, a carriage horse named Barney got loose and charged the wrong way down 10th Avenue, caught on camera being chased through traffic by police cars with blaring sirens and flashing lights. Two years ago, a terrified horse named Oreo bolted after a collision and dragged his broken carriage down several city streets. Three years ago, a horse named Charlie collapsed and died in front of NYPD officers. The stories of Barney, Oreo, and Charlie underscore the urban chaos and suffering inflicted upon carriage horses. Their experiences are not exceptions and NYPD’s incident reports are just a small piece of the larger story. Those records, and others from the Departments of Health and Consumer Affairs, are part of a comprehensive report ALDF is preparing that reveals grim truths about this dangerous industry.

New Yorkers are famous for their common sense, and the variety of accidents in these police reports makes clear that a ban is the only rational solution that can prevent New York’s citizens and horses from suffering future harm. ALDF is urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to remove carriage horses from the streets of Manhattan, as he promised to do upon taking office. ALDF and a coalition of other animal protection organizations have procured the records that clearly document the dangers. Now, it is up to the Mayor and the New York City Council to introduce and pass such a ban to make New York’s streets safe for all.

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54 thoughts on “Legally Brief: Traffic Reports Finally Released in Horse Carriage Accidents

  1. Julie Hoffheins says:

    Please outlaw the horse drawn carriage industry in NY and everywhere else.

    1. Barbara S says:

      What happened to all the other comments supporting the carriages? Let me guess, they were moderated away.

    2. McKenna Grace Fisher says:

      Time has since passed to end this barbaric practice of enslaving horses to carry people around.. Have they not done enough for humans by building the railroads and city’s when the settlers first came here… Seriously this needs to end… pls help us help the horses and stop using them… ty mgf

  2. Mary Cummins says:

    Horse carriages are bad for pedestrians, occupants of carriage, people driving in cars/motorcycles, bicyclists and the horses. We have so many safety restrictions for cars and humans but not for these carriages or horses. Car drivers must wear seat belts, motorcyclists must wear helmets…yet these open carriages have nothing to protect people or horses. The time has come for them to end this abusive practice.

  3. Holly Sabean says:

    Please outlaw the horse drawn carriage industry in NY and everywhere else.

  4. Ania Bilchuk says:

    Stop torture horses. Live them alone, without carriage. Give them a rest. Death for them is better than life in NY City.

  5. Craig Sheldon says:

    A news reporter called the NYPD about these reports and here is what he and they had to say: “This week, I contacted the New York Police Department – no court order was necessary, they were happy to speak with me about the hit-and-run allegations, they told me that none of them could be verified or were found to be true. No charges have been filed They were simply allegations, and there was no evidence to justify taking action on any of them.”

  6. Carole Williams says:

    Please stop this outmoded and dangerous practice

  7. Erika Schiegg says:

    stop hurting these horses

  8. James pszanka says:

    Horses belong in the Wild West, and on the prairies.please do not support horse carriage businesses and let’s restore and protect wilderness habitat and wild horses.

  9. Darlene says:

    Stop this absurd business. Horses and NYC traffic don’t mix. It’s stressful for the horses, the pollution is bad for them, they get injured badly in accidents; it’s just not a safe mix.

  10. Barbara Mathes says:

    Horses don’t belong in NY or any other city. Let them roam free on a farm.

  11. Bert says:

    Horses & vehicles do not belong in the same area! It is dangerous for them as well as the humans who maybe near them if a accident were to occur. It also puts them under un-necessary stress while they are being forced to do this! They belong in a field enjoying their lives!

  12. Janell Curtis says:

    Tradition or not, it’s time to do the right thing.

  13. Michael Gartner says:

    This is not the 1800s and these horses suffer with honking horns, car and truck exhaust, slippery streets and the typical yelling and screaming that goes on. Please release these poor horses to a sanctuary where they will have some peace and happiness.

  14. Marilyn Byrne Graziano says:

    The busy streets of any bog city have never been and will never be a place for horses. These animals are really sensitive and forcing them up and down the roads every day is just cruel! This should be ended right now

    1. I could not agree more, thank you.

  15. Heidi Tartell says:

    Horses are not for our amusement or entertainment! These horses need to go to a sanctuary where they can live in peace!

  16. Charlotte Grillot says:

    This really doesn’t work anymore. Maybe it did in a time past, but things have changed, and New York is ready for a change. Please end horse carriages now, and retire them for a peaceful life at last. Thank you.

  17. Horses belong to the fields and pastures, not in the streets of the cities.

  18. David COTTRELL says:

    The use of horses in such a potentially dangerous situation is yet another example of human abuse of animals for our “pleasure”…

  19. Nancy Beaulieu says:

    Horses need to be thoughtfully retired / not sold to auction or slaughtered. This needs to eend as a City/tourist attraction. Totally unsafe and unnatural for horses.

  20. Cindy Wines says:

    There is no reason to have these dangerous horse drawn carriages in these highly traffic areas! It is dangerous for the horses, the people, everyone. I volunteer at a horse rescue ranch and see how a bird flying in front of them can spook these poor horses! They like to run free! This is enslavement!! Ban this barbaric industry. It is as bad as the elephants being chained up in the circus and forced to perform tricks!!

  21. We are from Kentucky. All horses belong on the land, not road.
    We support banning horse carriages over the America.
    We can ride antique cars if we want to ride around the cities.
    Please ban horse carriages. Thank you.

  22. Elizabeth Smith says:

    Human convenience dictates the exploitation and treatment of animals.

  23. Elizabeth Smith says:

    Human convenience dictates the exploitation and treatment of animals

  24. Sabine Schreindorfer-Gruber says:

    Stop it!!!!

  25. Christine Tarn says:

    Horse and carriage is of another era, considering the busy streets nowadays with cars everywhere. Please respect these sensitive and intelligent horses !

  26. Christine Tarn says:

    Horse and carriage is of another era, considering the busy streets nowadays with cars everywhere. Please respect these sensitive and
    intelligent noble horses

  27. Valentina Trpeski says:

    It’s PATHETIC that in this time & day people are still on horse & carege. Stop this in-humaine use of horses. Buy a fucking car or walk. Horses are for the field & ranch.

  28. Dalila OUAI says:

    Why such cruelty just to “entertain” people that could move their ass alone !!! Go walking!!!

  29. Katherine L says:

    Human beings need to evolve into a more civilized being. It’s 2015 and we’re still using horses as transport and exploiting them for profit. THE FACTS ARE IN; ITS TOO DANGEROUS! We are going nowhere and we may contribute to our own demise if we continue to make the same mistakes and not learn from them! wake up!!

  30. save these wonderful animals are horses good luck

  31. Jeannine Moore says:

    That this sort of commerce is still in operation only goes to show, that although we have learned to create tools and play in the field of science; we know very, very little about stewardship and the magnificence of others.

  32. Shirley DeRuchie says:

    Absolutely uncalled for that these horses go through what they do to please people. Heat , traffic and what their hooves on pavement must feel like. Use a pedicab!

  33. Amy Sullivan says:

    I trusted Mayor DeBlasio to follow through on his promise to end the carriage horse “business” and am disheartened by his lack of action. This is tragic and completely avoidable.

  34. Michael Guest says:

    For me, I think it’s time to ban these horse-carriage rides. It poses risks to the animals. Outlaw it now.

  35. Angela Grammatico says:

    This must “STOP NOW” !! It’s a crime to have these animals out in traffic in NY or any other city…. DUMB IDEA !!!


    Time has since passed to end this barbaric practice of enslaving horses to carry people around.. Have they not done enough for humans by building the railroads and city’s when the settlers first came here… Seriously this needs to end… pls help us help the horses and stop using them

  37. Dwinna Barker says:

    It seems that there is no low that a human will not slime to in order to exploit innocent animals to make a buck!!! Who knew that this was also just another cruelty to these horses in the name of entertainment of humans? Disgusting! It should be outlawed worldwide!!!! People need to wake up! What if God really does watch us through the eyes of innocent animals???? What if?

  38. susanna nylander says:

    please help

  39. Nelson Baker says:

    It is a danger to both horses and people.

  40. Nikki Dunlap says:

    It’s 2014 it’s time to ban horse drawn carriages. It is to busy of a world to have these animals working in the middle of it.

  41. Mireya Landin-Erdei says:

    This is inadmissible. How many more horrific accidents and fatalities do we need to STOP THIS INHUMANE “TRTADITION”? Poor horses are exposed to fear, misery and bad accidents –sorry drivers you have to retire these noble animals and look for another job.

  42. Mireya Landin-Erdei says:


  43. Manel Dias says:

    Please BAN these majestic horses abuse. Such unworthy non-sence practices must come to an end. What type of men who simply sit behind a cart and torture a Horse asking and ordering to pull the cart along busy streets. This cowards need to go find something to do like a man. Not like stupid morons. STOP this ANIMAL ABUSE ASAP> Shame on the USA.

  44. Alison says:

    This was what got Henry Bergh and the ASPCA started back in the 19th century: horse-drawn carriages. Sad that we are still in the dark ages on this score. Free the horses so that they can be horses, not slaves of people who think the whole atrocity is “charming” somehow.

  45. Rita says:

    Why don’t YOU pull a bunch of ignorant, selfish, self-centered, indifferent, deluded people around the city and then tell us how safe, energetic, and happy YOU feel? THIS IS JUST SICK!!! I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS STILL HAPPENING IN THIS DAY AND AGE!!! STOP IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Ann K says:

    This is so horrible. Animals are not ours to abuse.

    Carriage horses should be outlawed for the safety and benefit of the animals and the people.

    Stop this NOW!

  47. Rhana Wyble says:

    Stop the abuse of horses.

  48. Jeaneen says:

    Please ban all Horse Drawn Carriages. In 2014 there is no place for such cruelty, just to make money. Please put the horses first.

  49. Animals are not on this earth for human entertainment. No one needs a horse to carry them around in this day and age. Have a heart and stop this cruelty.

  50. leslie says:

    This is horrifying. Stop the use of carriage horses NOW!

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