NYC stable that housed fallen carriage horse keeps animals in poor condition

A privately owned Manhattan stable that housed the carriage horse that collapsed in Hell’s Kitchen earlier this month is keeping at least nine emaciated horses in cramped, dingy stalls, according to disturbing footage made available to The Post.

The clip, taken Wednesday by horse rescue group Unbridled Heroes Project, offered a heartbreaking look at conditions at the West Side Livery stable on West 38th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, the group said.

At least nine horses with protruding bones are in cramped stalls with dirty floors and minimal bedding, the video shows.

Footage shows deteriorating conditions at the West Side Livery stable at 538 W 38 St. in Manhattan.
Footage shows deteriorating conditions at the West Side Livery stable on West 38 Street in Manhattan.
Robert Mueller
Horses in West Side Livery's crumbling stable appear to be severely malnourished.
Ryder, the carriage horse that collapsed, retired after the backcountry incident.
Robert Mueller

“It is very similar to neglect and cruelty [degree] to what we see in the killing stalls,” said Amy McCambridge-Steppe, CEO of Unbridled, whose organization partners with Veterans with Rescued Horses, referring to spaces where horses are kept prior to slaughter.

Alleged problems in the barn identified by McCambridge-Steppe include:

  • Horses so malnourished their ribs showed through their skin.
  • Boxes that are too small for horses to lie down or horses that are tethered and unable to turn.
  • Minimal bedding on the floor.

“The conditions are absolutely terrible,” she said.

The Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents the carriage drivers, said in a statement to The Post that the stalls at the 38th Street stable are at least 60 square feet and allow horses to turn around and lie down, in accordance with New York City Law.

The recording, which McCambridge-Steppe said members of her organization received during a visit to the stables, comes amid outrage over the treatment of Ryder, a carriage horse who collapsed on August 10.

Ryder’s owner, Ian McKeever, sparked public anger when he was caught on video repeatedly whipping the animal to get it to its feet.

Ryder was retired to an upstate farm. An NYPD spokesman said McKeever was under investigation.

“What we saw in the video is a disgrace,” said Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens), who among elected officials led the charge against the city’s horse-drawn carriage industry ban and provided the video to the Post.

Holden is currently introducing legislation to council that would ban the horse-drawn carriage industry and replace it with electric carriages. So far only 14 out of 51 Poles have registered.

He has blamed TWU for pressuring many of his peers not to support the bill.

Carriage involved in yesterday's accident.
Councilman Robert Holden is leading a ban on the Big Apple’s horse-drawn carriage industry.
Robert Mueller
A horse at West Side Livery's stable has a large exposed wound on its head.
A video showed Ryder being flogged repeatedly, prompting a public outcry.
Robert Mueller

“It’s an animal cruelty issue. It’s a miserable life for [the horses] toil all day in the heat and have to return to a stable where their quarters are so tiny,” he said.

Lawmakers said they sent the video to Mayor Eric Adams and the council speaker’s office and are calling for a moratorium on the use of horse-drawn carriages until the city can determine if the horses are in danger.

A City Hall spokesman said Adams was reviewing Holden’s bill to ban the horse-drawn carriage industry, but did not immediately respond to questions about the video.

TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano issued a statement denying that the union was pressuring local politicians.

“We ask council members to speak to us directly about any concerns so we can explain how this proposed legislation will eliminate manual labor jobs that more than 120 carriage drivers and owners rely on to put food on the table, their rent to pay and send their kids to college and that nobody wants to put electric vehicles that go up to 40 km/h in the now car-free park,” Utano said

A West Side Livery manager could not be immediately reached for comment and stable staff declined to comment Saturday.

https://nypost.com/2022/08/27/nyc-stable-that-housed-fallen-carriage-horse-keeps-animals-in-poor-conditions/ NYC stable that housed fallen carriage horse keeps animals in poor condition

JACLYN DIAZ

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