Horse collapses in Central Park

Outrage after carriage horse collapses in NYC

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The photo of a seemingly exhausted, or ailing, carriage horse collapsed on a street in New York City has sparked outrage. According to NBC New York, the white horse collapsed last week in Central Park.

The animal rights advocacy group, NYCLASS, which strives to end the NYC horse carriage industry, has stated that bystanders noticed the horse was “breathing heavily” before falling to the ground. The group has demanded an investigation into the situation.

New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has acknowledged that the draft horse was involved in an incident on February 21, but they have stated that the 13-year-old horse merely tripped and fell…and that he is now doing fine. In a statement, the department said, “The horse returned immediately to its stable and was examined by a private veterinarian who determined Max to be healthy.”

In the New York Post, the department’s claim that the horse simply tripped has been questioned by NYCLASS, which stated, “Horses don’t just collapse. Something happened — and the city should get to the bottom of it and make sure it never happens again.”

According to the NY Post, carriage driver Chris Emanus acknowledged that Max tripped on “a crack,”  but noted that the horse was “back to work” on Monday.

Please share your thoughts about this situation below. Did Max trip, or was something else to blame for the apparent collapse?

(Photo NYCLASS via NY Post)


33 replies
  1. Angela Cone-Corso says:

    This tripping story is a bunch of crap. NYC YOU NEED TO BE MORE SUCCESSFUL AT PROTECTING ANIMALS! The street does not show wear of any type of crack that is large enough for a horse to go completely down. Now this horse has to go out and work again when it’s not healthy??? New York sucks!!

  2. Marsha says:

    End this cruel practice now… Horses are not meant to walk on pavement for long periods of time and breathe in exhaust fumes….That horse was and is OVERWORKED!!!!!!

    • Linda berger says:

      I agree 110%, one can’t expect a horse to work in such extreme conditions, the fumes from the buses and cars, just about kill me when I visit and I’m not pulling thousands of pounds. Stop this practice!

  3. Elli Zamaniova says:

    It is so barbaric and backward to still use and abuse and work the horses to their death or any other animal! I highly doubt the horse “tripped”??? Whatever! It’s horrible that they take advantage of their freedom that’s in their hands they way they do! Animals are here on this earth with us, NOT FOR IS!!?? SICKENING!!!

  4. Sherry says:

    Personally, I think they worked him too hard. They are famous for not letting those horses rest; they just keep them steady working, so they can make more money off of them. They don’t care about those horse’s well being. I don’t think he tripped; I think he collapsed from exhaustion.

    • famousnylover says:

      That is true. After they bring carriage back to stable, they put different carriage on horse that already worked 9 hour shift. Some horses operate 15 hours until 3am every day.

  5. Marsha Seiman says:

    There is no reason to have carriage horses work in exhaust-fumed environments. It is ridiculous and unfair to any animal. I used to live in NYC for 40 years and now how awful the traffic and noise and fumes are

  6. Rev. Sue Howes says:

    I feel these horses are over worked…this one appears to be a senior horse…there is too much in the air and after time effects these and other animals…this dog should be retired and I truly wish they would stop the horse carriage crap in nyc and just ride the people around on a bike like they do in other countries…retire all of these loving animals and work yourself on the bikes…its your turn now…not the horses………

  7. Red says:

    Get these damn tourist something else to tote their butts around in. Horses are meant to be in fields…. not on hot, hard, pavement. STOP THIS!!! People are horrible to animals. Enough already!

  8. jeanette says:

    I had a horse for 17 years and he did trip, sometimes. But not like that poor horse on the ground, something isn’t right.

  9. Barkley's Mom says:

    I have never seen a horse that tripped laying like this and it’s disturbing. I truly hope Max is alright but I would suggest some sort of overseer to make sure these horses are being well taken care of.

  10. Kathleen Drude says:

    That’s a bunch of bullshit! If that horse only tripped then I’m the wizard of oz! That horse didn’t trip that horse collapsed! Now the fact there was a statement made that prior to this horse going down it was breathing heavy! As a veterinarian that tells me one of 2 things was happening! Either there is pneumonia or there is a infection! To have them say the horse was fine is nonsense! I’m looking at the picture of this horse on the ground! They can tell whatever story they want I don’t buy it!

  11. Annette Aldrich says:

    Oh, for Pete’s sake!! OF COURSE horses trip and fall down sometimes! They’re not MAGIC!! Any EXPERIENCED horseperson knows this. I have seen it happen and was actually riding a horse when he literally tripped over his own feet, and down we went. No drama, he was just a big klutzy youngster and we were both fine. Horses can “clip” themselves with their hooves, standing on the back part of a front shoe with their hind foot. Boom. And it’s more difficult to regain their feet when they’re between the shafts of a buggy, so yes, unhitch them. Aside from that, a horse can collapse for reasons totally unrelated to the work they’re doing, such as an aneurysm or an arrhythmia. Is the big city ideal horse habitat? Probably not, but it’s not the ideal habitat for humans either! Personally I would love to be able to run around naked in sunny fields without a care in the world, but most of us have to go to work every day to support our asses. Horses too! And if you know what a free wild horse endures for his freedom (extreme weather, no shelter, rough forage, deadly parasites, untreated injuries, constant battle for territory, breeding until death, and of course, being killed by predators) then domestic life doesn’t seem like such a bad tradeoff!

  12. Smith says:

    I am shocked that anyone believed the horse tripped. That is not the physical posture of a horse that tripped. They do not stay down like that. The vet probably boosted him with an injection. That horse is not OK.

  13. Connie lalena says:

    When are these horse carriage cities going to stop this. The poor horse probably has lung cancer. The mayor should have to walk in back of traffic all day .

  14. Dawn Hubbard says:

    Thank God for the organization that is trying to stop the cruel industry. I agree the horse may die soon anyway from bad treatment, a heart attack from monoxide, bad food. Gentle Giants is another charity that is trying to stop the industry. I say a picture from them one time that showed the horse, after a days work, being forced up outside stairs to second floor “stable”, where they are cruelly allowed not to rest naturally, confined in tiny stalls. City life is death to these patient, beautiful SOULS!!

  15. Judy Robin says:

    Having horses for over 35 years, all well cared for, and all having “jobs” of various sorts, yes! They do sometimes fall down! Although this is a distressing photo, the horse itself is not underweight, does not appear to have been abused. We should not jump to conclusions. The NY carriage horses are always under scrutiny, as they should be. But yes, they DO need a job! Sadly, half a million, that’s right, 500,000+ horses in the US are sent to daughter every year! All because they are not wanted. Sad!

  16. ellen cottone says:

    Give a horse a job and he wont end up in a can of dog food
    like most horses in this country end up.
    reality !
    The horse is well taken care of he is monotored. He is looked after and loved.
    Max is actally a valued member of The NEW YORK LABOR FORCE and monotored by outside animal welfair agencies and activists. The reason why this hasnt been shut down is because they break no labor or animal welfair laws.
    This is New York baby we protect our amimals here. Its is a law.
    The The oldest stable in America is here in NY.
    There have been livery horses working in manhattan since before there was even an America.
    Sometimes horses live and work in the city. But the point is they live. They have a job. All animals need a job. this one has one. He commutes to the city each day and He works in the city and has weekends off.
    Know you know. The picture upsets us all but the most distressed are the people who never had any contact with horses.
    And ironically that is 99% of people walking around in manhattan.

    • Sherry says:

      If New York is so great and flawless always at taking care of their animals “baby” ; then why do you guys have so many EXTREME cruelty case rescues there that I have to donate to? Far more than any other state in the U.S. that I know of. I will give New York this, at least they do have some real legit quality rescues like RESCUE Dogs Rock and Second Chance Rescue. I’m from New Orleans and the horses sometimes collapse here from exhaustion. Some people forget about the animal because they are too money motivated.

  17. ellen cottone says:

    Any one worried about the welfair of Max and any other horse has to remember this is NYC
    The home of Home of the Worlds Oldest and Greatest Metro Cavalrys.
    The NYPD Mounted Division.
    The First in History to blend police work with HorseManship. Imagine the brotherhood that hand be awares been Forged with necessity love and respect between these men and their animal partners? Know that these men also monotor other horses working in the city. Do not worry about horses in NYC.
    Worry about whats happening to horses in the wild.

      • ellen cottone says:

        The NYPD Mounted division was established in1871. i would have thought in the 1830s.
        I had to look it up. You made me learn something. now i have to forget something.
        But if tv and movies tought me anything its that New York was just much older and crowded and lawless.
        If you are talking about washington police washington had a police force and an army.
        in Old NY it was just the police.

      • ellen cottone says:

        You need to read the book
        The gangs of New York.
        not the movie, the book.
        It will answer every question you ever had as to where you came from and it will change your life.
        Mark my word.

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