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NYCLASS has confirmed the death of the carriage horse named Ryder, who collapsed on a Manhattan street in August and sparked a call for New York to finally end cruel horse carriage rides.

In August, Ryder collapsed on the hot pavement, and videos went viral of the carriage owner Ian McKeever whipping the animal while he was on the hot pavement. Thankfully, McKeever is now being investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for animal abuse. The Department of Health also recently charged McKeever’s brother for falsifying the horse’s veterinary records, which changed Ryder’s age from 26 to 13. Ryder has now been transferred to an equine hospital, where he will receive a necropsy to determine the cause of his death.

Source: Inside Edition/YouTube

“We are devastated to learn that Ryder has died. His horrific collapse, after years of abuse, inspired tens of thousands of people from across the globe to stand up to carriage horse industry cruelty. But make no mistake: this tragedy was not caused by an act of God – Ryder’s death was the result of savage cruelty and greed. To make a profit, the horse carriage industry would have literally worked Ryder to death if it weren’t for viral videos and the people who exposed their endless lies and cover-ups. Their mistreatment of Ryder is the reason he is dead two months later,” said Edita Birnkrant, Executive Director of NYCLASS.

“This is not over. There’s an ongoing criminal animal abuse case pending against Ian McKeever, who whipped Ryder after he collapsed onto the scorching pavement once his body finally gave out after months of neglect. Let’s honor Ryder’s memory and protect all the other Ryders still suffering in New York City by passing #573 to end carriage horse abuse once and for all.”

Ryder was euthanized because of his ongoing medical conditions and age, according to a press release from the union and officials from Equine Rescue Resource, Inc.

Ryder fell on August 10 on the pavement on 45th Street and 9th Avenue in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. The horse was not able to get up for over an hour. He appeared to be in heat distress, was dehydrated, and no veterinarian was present to give care.

Horse-drawn carriages and horse rides are not quaint and romantic! These poor horses are subject to walking for hours on end in sometimes extreme weather without adequate breaks. We need to work toward banning carriage rides and protecting these animals from being exploited!

If you are a resident of NYC, please call or email your NYC council member and ask them to “sign on as a co-sponsor to Intro 573 to replace suffering, dying carriage horses with cruelty-free electric carriages.” NYCLASS says to make sure to tell them what district you live in, and the list of Council members can be found here.

NYCLASS says that if you don’t live in NYC, please call Council Speaker Adrienne Adams at 718-206-2068 or email at and ask her to use her voice and power as the head of Council to “END horse abuse by supporting Intro 0573  to replace deadly horse carriages with cruelty-free electric carriages!”

While you’re at it, please sign this petition and tell New York that it’s time to end horse-drawn carriage rides.

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