NYC carriage horse flogged by driver after collapsing on busy street

After about ten tries and a shot of adrenaline, the animal was back on its hooves, as onlookers cheered.



An exhausted carriage horse collapsed during the evening rush hour in Manhattan on Wednesday — lying on the asphalt while his driver repeatedly struck him and ordered him to “get up.”

The animal’s knees buckle in video footage as the driver jerks the reigns and slaps the horse in an attempt to make it stand on 9th Avenue and West 45th Street in Hell’s Kitchen.

“Get up! Get up! Get up! C’mon, get up,” the frustrated driver commanded as traffic backed up on the busy avenue around 5 p.m.

Onlookers were disturbed by the flogging.

“What if I slapped you around like that, bro?” one concerned bystander asked.

“Stop slapping him,” another woman was heard pleading.

“I’m trying to get him up, alright,” the driver said, as he whipped the horse with the reigns twice.

The dejected horse then laid down on its side and rested his head on the street as the driver removed his carriage with the help of a pedestrian.

A group of police officers then arrived and were filmed dousing the horse with water, finally getting him on his feet after more than an hour, according to video and witnesses.

The NYPD’s mounted unit then transported the animal to an unknown location for treatment, according to police.

The incident horrified witnesses and advocates and came after a brutal extended heat wave that finally broke Wednesday.

“I saw the horse collapse. He obviously was malnourished, dehydrated, hungry. The guy started whipping his horse and telling him to get back up instead of giving him water,” Uber Eats driver Kelvin Gonzalez, 25, told The Post.

“I told him, ‘Yo, stop whipping him, give him some water. That’s a horse, not a machine.’

“It’s really sad, man. You can tell that horse was not taken care of. You can tell he was exploiting that horse. The horse was hungry, he was thirsty. You can tell the horse collapsed from the thirst.”

The horse “tried to get up like 10 times and it kept collapsing,” before police put “adrenaline up his butt,” 😲 Gonzalez said.

The horse tried to stand up multiple times to no avail, witnesses said.

“He knocked the water down because he was so disoriented. He was out of it. He licked the water off the floor because he was so thirsty. The [driver] didn’t care. He didn’t care. He just wanted to get his horse back up so he can make more money,” the witness alleged.

Another witness told The Post the horse was bleeding from the knee and a tourist on the scene said she believed the horse had suffered from heat exhaustion.

“I told them they shouldn’t try to force the horse up. It’s just like a person you wait and make sure they get over it,” said Cathy Garfield, 75, who noted that she had grown up with horses.

“He was afraid to take the bridal off the horse because he was afraid he wouldn’t control it once it got up. He didn’t know a thing about horses,” she said about the driver.

“It tried to drink water but still had the bit in its mouth. I was able to convince the driver to remove the bit from the bridle. It had been trying to drink water. It’s hard when you have a big piece of metal in your mouth,” she said.

Advocates said the animal had been passed out on 9th Avenue for over an hour with no veterinary care.

“How many more incidents like this do we need? This is clearly animal abuse and it must be stopped,” said New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets Executive Director Edita Birnkrant in a statement.

Nathan Semmel, 52, advocate for Voters for Animal Rights, agreed with NYCLASS that city lawmakers should replace horse-drawn carriages with electronic vehicles, a proposal currently being considered in the City Council.

“It’s time that we replace horses with modern technology,” he told The Post. “The city can provide better benefits for the horses and drivers. These horses have been suffering for years. There is nothing romantic about seeing a horse fighting for its life laying on the ground.”

The fight against commercial carriage rides in Central Park and Midtown had accelerated in recent years and months after footage of horses collapsing and running into cars went viral.

If passed, the new measure would give horse drivers preferences for electric carriage licensure and require they be paid union wages.

Drivers are represented by the powerful Transport Workers Union, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Wednesday’s Hell’s Kitchen horror show from The Post.

Mayor Eric Adams, who was endorsed by the TWU, has said he does not support a carriage ban but is open to discussing the issue.

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio was an outspoken critic of the industry but his multiple attempts to enact a citywide ban on carriage horses during his two terms were halted by political opponents concerned with protecting the industry’s 200 jobs.

His predecessor, Mike Bloomberg, was an unabashed fan of the tourist-friendly business who fended off neigh-sayers that claimed the industry is abusive.


Oh my Gosh people!! I’m so happy he’s ok! 😭

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