Renewed Uproar Over NYC Carriage Rides After Horse Collapses in Street

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Animal rights activists are speaking out after a carriage horse collapsed in the street in New York City.

The horse named Ryder remained on the ground in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan for more than an hour while police hosed him down. The temperature had reached 87 degrees and the pavement was much hotter.

Finally, he was able to get to his feet.

“The time has come to end this barbaric, inhumane practice,” New York City Councilman Robert Holden said at a press conference. 

The activists are calling for a complete ban on horses.

Witnesses say they saw Ryder in extreme distress hours before he couldn’t go a step farther.

“Hours before Ryder collapsed on Aug. 10, he was seen struggling to walk, falling to his knees,” said Edita Birnkrant, executive director of NYCLASS. 

In Central Park, the horse and carriage ride is a big part of the New York tourism experience. But for years, animal rights activists have been calling for an end to the tradition, claiming it’s cruel. 

Christina Hansen, who represents carriage drivers, says Ryder has a neurological disorder and was not suffering from heat stroke when he collapsed.

“There’s no reason to ban well cared for, highly regulated businesses who are taking good care of the horses,” Hansen said. 

Ryder is now living at what’s being called a “vacation ranch,” where he is fully retired.