A horse-drawn carriage was headed north on Eight Avenue near 57th and 58th Street around 10 a.m. when the driver lost control and struck several parked cars on the side of the street. As a result, the carriage turned over onto its right side, pinning the horse.
A pedicab driver watched as the accident occurred. Garth Burton, 48, said, “It looked like the driver was having a fit. He was screaming. He couldn’t control the horse. [He] grabbed the horse by the head. The horse was trying to get out. He was on his legs.
Another witness, Melissa Ripke, saw the accident and the visibly shaken horse. People at the scene thought the horse appeared young, not used to the noise and confusion in Manhattan. She said, “I think he got spooked or something, and kind of went crazy.”
A posted Instagram taken by a witness shows the horse stumbling and attempting to get to his feet as firefighters surrounded it.
Burton and another bystander lifted up the carriage off the struggling horse. They were able to free up the animal by cutting the harness off him.
The horse was kicking and flipping out. It fell back down a second time. it looked like it was going to keel over. We started cutting the harness [and] everyone started applauding.
Another witness, dogwalker Chanelle Futrell, 31, said she saw what appeared to be minor injuries to the horse.
The horse had an indentation on its right thigh. It was the size of a basketball. Its eyes were wide open. It wasn’t making any noise. The horse looked surprisingly calm.
Advocates came on the scene to further push their battle to ban horse-drawn carriages from the streets of New York.
Executive director of NYCLASS [advocacy group], Allie Feldman, said this was the 19th carriage-associated accident in 2-1/2 years. She went on,
Horses don’t belong in an urban setting when they’re at risk of being hit by cars, trucks and buses. There’s no way to test how a horse is going to react to oncoming traffic— there no horse traffic lane in New York City. There are no airbags.
Police questioned and released the driver who then led the horse down Eighth Avenue. A NYPD mounted unit escorted the animal back to the stable where they checked out the horse and decided he was in good condition despite his ordeal.
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