Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
single

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR Newsletter

The bill to ban horse-drawn carriages is scheduled to be introduced into the City Council next week at a scheduled meeting.  We are very grateful to Mayor DeBlasio for keeping his promise.  The fact that so many horses “disappear” in ths business is very troublesome and we hope that in the short phaseout, this issue will be addressed.

Some of the horses who have disappeared are Carson, Smokey, Ceasar [sic], Bobby Jo, Alice, Rebecca, Flash, Phoenix, Lisa#2155,  Lisa #2717 and Roger.  They are among a long list of horses who are no longer in the NYC carriage trade as of September 2014.  They had been working in the trade for between five and at least nine years and possibly more.  We know that Roger was retired – at least according to the fanfare by the Daily News.  But Roger was a rock star, having appeared on a few TV shows. Carson and Ceasar were involved in a scam by one of the carriage drivers who was accused of substituting older Ceasar’s ID number for Carson, the younger horse.  Now they are both gone.

What Happens to NYC Carriage Horses When They're "Retired"

Where Did They all Go?   

Comparing the September 2014 Department of Health (DoH) horse registry list to last year’s, I observed that at least 59 horses were no longer listed. Horse owners are not legally accountable for their horse’s retirement. Sales records for horses sold outside NYC, as most are, are not required to be submitted to the DoH.  The only required documentation is notification that the horses are “gone” so the registry is kept updated.

In the spring of 2013, I wrote this piece, which discussed 7 ½ years of monitoring the official carriage horse lists from the DoH.  It revealed that a total of 529 NYC carriage horses “disappeared” in that time – about 70 horses a year. There are approximately 180 horses in the business.

What Happens to NYC Carriage Horses When They're "Retired"

In that time the industry took on 516 new horses.  Out with the old, in with the new.

The industry does not want this information getting out to the public so they’ve came up with many excuses ranging from accusing me of lying to saying that the owners have a right to do what they want to with their horses. They are, after all, their property.  Some said that they needed to try out a horse first to see if he or she was suitable to work in NYC.  But how long is a “try out period?” And why are the carriage drivers and their supporters, who refer to themselves as “equine experts and professionals,” not able to tell if a horse is suitable to work in NYC?  Why don’t these owners have accountability for any of their horses? The drivers say that all the horses are offered retirement at Blue Star Equiculture, a Massachusetts farm with ties to the carriage industry. But this facility has room for only about 30 horses, so the numbers simply do not add up.  Besides this “official retirement” is not written into the law.

When the DoH tried to change its regulations in December 2009 to require specific sales information for all horses sold, the industry complained and the requirement was rescinded. It is entirely possible that many of these horses are laundered through Amish farmers and go to auction frequented by kill buyers who need to make their quota for the Canadian horse meat market. After all this is how I found Bobby II Freedom, a NYC carriage horse, in 2010.

What Happens to NYC Carriage Horses When They're "Retired"

 

The following 59 horses who were in the system last April 2013, but were no longer listed by September 2014. The information is based on “snap shot” lists from the DoH. Only one (Roger) is accounted for.

Worked between 6 and 9 years:

Lisa #2717; Carson #2954; Lisa #2155; Roger 2377;  Ceasar #2474; Smokey #2526; Alice #3095  Bobby Jo #3209; Rebecca #3177

Worked between 2 and 5 years:

Phoenix #3244; Flash #3311; Dolly #3299; Lucky #3383; Beauty #3388; Henry #3445; Bruno #3490; Male Cosmo  #3560; Sarah  #3577; Alice #3595; Olivia #3668; Teddy #3391; Charlie #3392; Thor #3480; Major #3396; Lucky #3718; Mozart  #3720; Dennis #3494; Ruby #3513;

Diego 3534; Jethro #3539; Isabelle #3634; Windy #3652

Worked 1 year or less:

Luciel #3640; Pickles  #3641; Doreen  3670; Jodie #3686; King #3691; Lucky #3705; Kevin  #3717; Blueberry  #3723; Dolly #3724; Charlie  #3732; Oh Henry #3733; Sara #3741; Billy #3742; Harry  #3744; Danny Boy #3745; O’Callaghan #3748; Apache #3758; Jack #3759; Isabel  #3764; Buster  #3766; Carson #3767; Elmo #3770; Victoria  #3775; Angelina  #3787; Frisk  #3788; Pumpkin #3790; Danny Boy  #3795

Searching for an End to Carriage Horse Cruelty

For years, the carriage trade has enjoyed many entitlements – from low insurance rates to low license fees  – compared to the pedicab industry that they unsuccessfully tried to ban in 2005. Street laws, such as the prohibition of U-turns or requiring horses to be tethered and attended to at all times, are mostly not enforced. The City provides them with a lucrative opportunity to ply their trade in high tourist areas, with no consideration to the dangers of traffic congestion. They give little in return – including their contribution to NYC taxes, which is based on their net income and what they report to the IRS.

We hope we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

All image source: Mary Culpepper



Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

This Woman Traded in Her Dream of Becoming a Prison Warden to Help Animals Instead

Kate Powell Feature Image

All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Plant-Based Eating (From the Experts Themselves)

The-Glow-Bowl-Baked-Sweet-Potato-With-Pesto-Pasta-Tomatoes-and-Pumpkin-Seeds-1200x800

This Mailman Does the Sweetest Thing for Dog Who Loves Delivering Mail

Pippa 2

Shocking Video Shows Captive Dolphin Escaping Tiny Tank

Dolphin floor

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

29 comments on “What Happens to NYC Carriage Horses When They’re ‘Retired’”

Click to add comment
Wild Side
1 Years Ago

Ms. Forel likes number, but seems to have little understanding what\'s behind them. Any time a horse\'s license expires while they\'re out on a long vacation, they\'re re-registered under a new license when they return. Whenever a horse is sold from one driver to another they get a new license number. Whenever a horse is brought into the city on approval for a week or two they must be registered. If the horse doesn\'t work out they\'re returned to the seller. All these horses would fall under Ms. Forel\'s category of "disappearing". Nonsense.


Reply
Christine MacMurray
1 Years Ago

Elizabeth Forel\'s blog is full of information about the whereabouts of the carriage horses that was obtained by scrupulous methods of inquiry. There is no doubt that approximately 70 horses "disappear" from the record every year, and there is no accountability regarding their welfare. We believe most end up being slaughtered. We wish we were wrong about that, but everything points to this dreadful fact. Now that a bill has been introduced, maybe we can at long last get these poor horses off of the streets and into sanctuaries.


Reply
Raub
1 Years Ago

The human race. Greedy, cruel...


Reply
Lyn
1 Years Ago

Don\'t you think the word "disappeared" is a little dramatic when you don\'t know the facts? You act like it was some clandestine operation that came in and made them disappear. Some horses are not cut out for the work and some horses love to work. The only cruel thing about having carriage horses is that they have to live in that crappy smog-filled city cesspool called New York.


Reply
SillyFilly
1 Years Ago

OMG!!! If ANY of you people had actually gone to the Auction, you would know that finding a Carriage Horse there was pretty much impossible this year!!
For your information – the ‘Carriage Business’ extends beyond the City limits and some of these horses are lucky enough to find new jobs. Doing hay rides, weddings, sleigh rides, parties and events. Many of them only work weekends!! It’s healthy for them to stay active and feel useful.
There is also more than one Rescue on the East Coast that takes in Carriage horses. Just because you have the name of ONE – doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY one!
Banning these horses from the City is killing a part History. There would be no City if not for horses and they sould be respected - not banned!


Reply
Amy
03 Dec 2014

I was going to say the rescue near me (Blue Star) has several ex-NYC carriage horses.

SillyFilly
1 Years Ago

OMG!!! If ANY of you people had actually gone to the Auction, you would know that finding a Carriage Horse there was pretty much impossible this year!!
For your information – the ‘Carriage Business’ extends beyond the City limits and some of these horses are lucky enough to find new jobs. Doing hay rides, weddings, sleigh rides, parties and events. Many of them only work weekends!! It’s healthy for them to stay active and feel useful.
There is also more than one Rescue on the East Coast that takes in Carriage horses. Just because you have the name of ONE – doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY one!
Understand WHAT you\'re taking about before you talk! To kick these horses out of the City is to kill part of History! The horses were there first! There would be no City if not for them!!


Reply
Sueetta
1 Years Ago

As a one time rancher, one of the wisest things ever taught me and hard to accept, is that where there is livestock there will be deadstock. Sad fact of raising animals no matter how hard you work and doing the best for them. That said, there may be some truth to this article but doubt it is as bad as painted to be. Horses with this training if still in good health can be sold for a true value rather than shipped off cheaply to slaughter houses. Horses, like people break down with age and have health issues sometimes that cannot be assisted and so are put down. Fact of life. There are a lot of do-gooders out there that think they want to protect every animal beyond reason. I live in Ecuador and there is a lady here with an animal "rescue" housing 120+ dogs but when visiting I told her if there was a humane society here I would report her. She houses these dogs in large open areas where there can be no clean way of managing feces and health issues so they trod through the feces of other dogs and eat slop out of open pans with flies in abundance. So sad. This is the work of a well meaning person in over their heads with what they are trying to do. Let it be a lesson to so many reading this who like to think they can resolve a problem regarding animals.


Reply
HORSE OWNER
1 Years Ago

This is the biggest crock and one sided article I have seen as of yet. Obviously the person that wrote the article knows nothing about horses, their personalities or how horses are trained. They have to learn a job and if the job isn\'t for them you find them a job doing what they like. The only way to see if they like being a carriage horse is to give them a try. They need time to see if they are good with the noise and distractions or too nervous for it. You can\'t just look at a horse and decide yes this is the job for him. Just like people they have personalities and preferences. AND because they are expensive to keep horses MUST have a job to have a decent life in most cases. The horses are not sent to slaughter just because YOU can\'t verify where they went. It does not mean they went to a bad place. Again horses are expensive and horses that are calm enough to pull a carriage are hard to come by. Sending him to slaughter makes no common sense. They can sell him to someone that wants a good driving horse for a lot more than will be paid at auction. Do your research about horses before deciding on this issue. By the way with the venom that the anti carriage movement has spewed I wouldn\'t tell you anything about my horses or where they went if I was a carriage driver. I would be afraid of the new owner being harassed. The people jumping on the cruelty bandwagon need to be better education on horse ownership. They enjoy a job, human interaction and a purpose. Many love to travel. I have four that love a trailer ride and going with me to different trails and competitions. They are nomadic animlas by nature. With all of the unwanted horses, dogs and cats in the world the anti carriage peoples money would be better spent saving animals that need a home and not ones that already have one.


Reply
Rudy Brannon
03 Dec 2014

No Horse owner your are a crock, the fact that you have 4 horses and trailer them everywhere. DOES NOT justify the lack of care for those horses. I have a beautiful horse, I also have been rescuing abuse dogs for 40 yrs. People use animals like throw aways. Maybe not you, or I but these horses have a history of abuse look up the stats! This is just brushed under the rugs like the abuse of Tennessee Walking horse, have you seen that?

HorseOwner2
03 Dec 2014

Right with you HorseOwner. Rudy clearly knows nothing of the equine industry (it\'s okay, he owned a horse once, he\'s like a pro now). These horses do not lack care (I think you missed the entire point of the article there Rudy), they are concerned about post-career welfare.

As someone who works solely in TWH, I can tell you there is not "abuse of the Tennessee Walking horse", there is a small population of people within the breed that opt for inhumane methods to create the "big lick" gait. That is not the abuse of an entire breed. I have never even seen a TWH that performs the "big lick" gait, since it\'s completely impractical and no one wants that.

Horses originated as work animals and are still relied on as work animals. They aren\'t just pets. If they are miserable pulling carriage or unsafe you don\'t keep them around, you find them a new home. And it\'s NO ONE\'S BUSINESS who you give them too.

Linda
1 Years Ago

I can tell you where they probably go. Check the horse auction in New Holland PA - it is every Monday or Tues night and people ship animals from around the country as it is the largest one - buyers from Canada come down with trailers to buy horse for their horse meat industry up there. I used to live a few blocks away. This place is so popular that a few years ago someone STOLE a herd of cattle from MA and they found them there ready to be sold. It is a big business and the Amish sell their buggy horses and buy there too.


Reply
Cheryl Ann
03 Dec 2014

I have to agree with Linda. They probably went to auction...sigh...so sad.

Charity
03 Dec 2014

The US is one of the LARGEST suppliers of horse meat to Europe. Rendering gets you .40 cents a lb. The US also has the highest per capita of horses STOLEN! And go \'missing\'. (16 horses went missing out of a paddock)

Where do you think all those BLM Mustangs go? Some of the rendering Ranches in Canada are raising their own horses for slaughter now because of the stiffer drug regulations on the meat. It can\'t have any antibiotics and others. The carriage industry is NO different than any other equine for money services. Look at Low level Polo and how they beat the living hell out of their horses compared to High goal who treat them like gods.

Most folks treat horses like tools and theirs to dispose as they see just. And legally, they have that right. You want to stop the carriage industry.

Stop the demand for it.

Jennifer
1 Years Ago

What happens to all the horses in the world that are no longer usable? They are put to sleep or sent to auctions. Could you afford to house and feed, them all.
Could you afford the veterinary needs and the Farrier for all of these animals. Could you buy anough land for them to graze all day and exercise.
This is a fact of life, that all of us horseowners have to face, when it comes the time.


Reply


Subscribe to our Newsletter




Follow us on


Do Not Show This Again

×

Submit to OneGreenPlanet


Terms & Conditions ×