7- 77/36 September 29, 2013

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Periodic updates about issues and actions concerning New York City's Carriage Horses +
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages www.banhdc.org

Horses Without Carriages International www.horseswithoutcarriages.org

PLEASE FORWARD TO FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES ** carriage horse accident in NYC ** driver has record of violations ** another carriage horse found at auction ** Senator Tony Avella speaks out

horse named Chris spooks and bolts
On Thursday a NYC carriage horse named Chris spooked on his way to work in Central Park. He got caught up in the carriage, which fell on him near Columbus Circle. His driver, Frank Luo, who has been working in this business for many years, not surprisingly did not have a clue how to have prevented this or how to deal with the horse.

The article from DNA offers a good report and also includes video.

This is a quote from the article. "I passed 57th Street and the horse starts acting crazy. He started kicking his back legs. I grabbed the reins and I must've yelled, 'Stop' 15 times," said carriage driver Frank Luo, 43, who works out of the Clinton Park Stables on 52nd Street near 11th Avenue Luo, who said the horse's name is Chris, said he couldn't calm the steed down. "He broke the whole front of the carriage and the fifth wheel. The harness trapped the back legs and he stopped," Luo said, adding, "I didn't do anything wrong. I did my job well. If I had gotten scared and jumped out [of the carriage], it would've been ten times worse."

This comment was offered by an experienced horseperson: " Many of these people are NOT competent enough as horse handlers to be taking these animals out in heavy urban traffic. That is a FACT. Almost ALL of these incidents involving "spooks" "bolts" and "runaways" have been because of driver error. Experienced and competent horsemen do not yell "Stop" or "Hold"-- they say "Whoa" in a commanding tone. They try very hard not to "yell" or "scream" or show fear or panic in their voice. I can't believe this man thought he deserved "credit" for doing what he is supposed to do-- stay with his horse and carriage and try to regain control.

WPIX 11TV - Latest horse-drawn carriage accident reignites calls for a ban

The driver, Frank Luo, is the owner of Manhattan Carriage Company, which lists rides on their web site. The legal rate for horse-drawn carriage rides is $50 for the first 20 minutes and $20 for each additional 10 minutes. The law does not provide for "special" circumstances or "seasonal" rates. They should also not ask people to "call for prices." Most of the rides listed are overpriced. This is a clear violation of the law, which had been brought to the attention of the press and the administration as early as 2009 by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and then Council Member Tony Avella. Yet it continues.

In 2009, Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue posted that they had rescued a NYC carriage horse from the kill auction in New Holland. They called him Manhattan. This is his picture from that time. By the time I communicated with them, the drivers had already had discussions with them and it was agreed that GG would contract with them to take horses in the future. All mention of horse slaughter was removed from their site.

So here it is four years later and it does not appear that they did rescue any more NYC carriage horses. And now their recent mailing talks about this same horse, now calling him by his NYC name - Marcello and providing this hoof number - 3287, something they would not give me four years ago. The mailing refers to the auction as the "New Holland Killer Sale." Armed with this ID number, I requested more information from the Department of Health and learned that the horse's owner was none other than Maria Sulla, who was also the owner of Bobby II Freedom, a NYC carriage horse we rescued from the New Holland auctions in 2010 and now lives at Equine Advocates Sanctuary. In a handwritten note to the DoH, Ms. Sulla said she sent the horse back to the farmer because "not good to work in NYC."

wants deBlasio and Lhota to keep pledge if elected
Avella Wants de Blasio, Lhota to Keep Horse-Drawn Carriage Pledge If Elected State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, is calling on mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota to stick to a pledge to ban horse-drawn carriages if elected. Avella, who has long been an opponent of the city's horse-drawn carriage industry, said that an accident on Friday involving a frightened horse and a vehicle on 8th Avenue near 58th Street in Manhattan was an example of why he believed the carriages should be prohibited. "Enough is enough," the senator said. "How many more accidents, injuries and deaths is it going to take before we end this inhumane industry? This latest accident serves as a prime example that horses are easily excited by everyday occurrences in life. It is absolutely clear that the time has come to ban horse-drawn cabs in the city of New York."

Avella said that both de Blasio, a Democrat, and Lhota, a Republican, have pledged to ban horse-drawn carriages if elected. The senator has introduced legislation that would prohibit the operation of the carriages in the city and mandate the humane relocation of horses released from service. [end of article]

To those who are new to this issue, it was then Council Member Tony Avella who introduced a bill - Intro 658 - into the City Council in 2007 to ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC. It was a first - an historic bill. Avella got some support but was opposed by Speaker Christine Quinn so the bill did not move. The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages started this campaign in 2006 against long time institutional opposition. But like Senator Avella, who has been a long time friend to the Coalition, we have kept at it and have both paved the way for a ban to finally happen.

roberto's shirt We are now offering great looking t-shirts based on our successful ad campaign - Carriage Horses Suffer - thanks to Roberto, the Nomadic Cat -for the Ts and Jane Denny - for the original art work. Click here.

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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead.

Thank you for caring about the horses, Elizabeth Forel - Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages - a standing committee of The Coalition for New York City Animals, Inc.

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