The Big Apple carriage driver filmed a sick horse being flogged after the animal collapsed on a busy Manhattan street and was following protocol, a steward told The Post on Friday.
The 14-year-old horse, named Ryder, is recovering at the West Side Livery stables on West 38th Street from the camera saga captured on Wednesday, which showed the driver repeatedly slapping the animal’s rump.
“He didn’t hit the horse,” insisted Christina Hansen, a carriage driver who works at the stables, adding that the driver follows rules set out by the city’s Health Department on what to do in such circumstances.
In the event that a horse collapses, Hansen said drivers should remove the animal from the carriage, examine it for injuries, and call a veterinarian. If the horse isn’t injured, Hansen said, the rider can slap its hindquarters to help the horse get back up.
Witnesses had filmed Ryder lying in the middle of the road as the driver repeatedly yanked on the reins, slapped the horse’s hindquarters and shouted, “Get up! Get up!” Stand up! Stand up! Come on, get up.”
Bewildered bystanders asked the driver to “stop hitting” before the driver, with the help of a pedestrian, removed the carriage.
Hansen said the driver’s only mistake in handling the situation was not immediately unhitching the horse from the carriage. But she noted that the driver couldn’t get rid of the carriage alone and make sure the horse didn’t escape at the same time.
“The only thing he did was try to right the horse before he unhooked it,” she said. “Then it became clear that the horse needed more time, so he gave the horse time.
“When the (NYPD) mounted unit tried to help the horse, they too encouraged the horse to get up and the crowd went berserk – ‘Don’t pull the horse’s head, don’t push the horse, leave the horse horse alone.’ No, it’s a medical emergency. We need to get him onto the trailer so he can see the vet.”
Hansen added the driver was “quite shaken up by the incident” – and the subsequent publicity surrounding him.
“He doesn’t want to put himself at the center of the story,” she said.
It comes after animal rights groups blasted the driver – and the broader horse-drawn carriage industry – for claiming the horse had been mistreated.
Activists, including those from NYCLASS and PETA, came to City Hall on Thursday to urge the City Council to expedite legislation that will ban horse-drawn carriages in the Big Apple.
Queens City Councilman Bob Holden, who introduced the bill, on Friday called on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to investigate possible carriage horse atrocities across the city following the latest saga.
“Horses that are easily startled, collapse on the road, and even die suddenly are not normal behavior,” Holden said in a letter to prosecutors. “I suspect there is a systematic problem with how these horses are treated. Only an investigation by your department will reveal the truth.”
https://nypost.com/2022/08/12/nyc-carriage-driver-who-flogged-horse-was-following-protocol-steward/ NYC carriage driver who whipped the horse followed protocol: steward