Carriage rides in New York City are on many tourists‘ lists of things to do when visiting the big city, but not everyone thinks that carriage rides should continue. PETA and NYCLASS both think it’s time for horse drawn carriage rides in NYC to end for good.

Both organizations are pointing to a recent incident that happened in NYC as another reason to end carriage rides. On Wednesday August 10, 2022, a horse collapsed in Manhattan at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and 45th Street. 

In a video of the incident, the carriage driver is seen whipping the collapsed horse and saying “Come on. Get up. Get up.” The horse does not get up. Instead, the horse lays his head down on the pavement.

Onlookers were stunned at the incident. Kevin Gonzalez saw the carriage driver yelling at the horse and told NBC New York, “He started whipping and saying ‘Get up, get up. Like bro, don’t whip your horse, he obviously needs some water, he looked dehydrated.”

When the police arrived on the scene, they also assumed that the horse might be dehydrated so they hosed him down with water.

NYCLASS also assumed the horse collapsed due to “heat distress” and tweeted that this proves that carriage rides are “abuse” to the horses.

Meanwhile, PETA tweeted that they believed the horse collapsed “from heat exhaustion.”

According to The Transport Workers Union (TWU), the police hosed down the horse as a precaution, but the horse actually didn’t collapse due to overheating or being dehydrated. Instead, the horse was diagnosed by an equine veterinarian with Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). The TWU urged everyone not to “jump to conclusions.”

According to Christina Hansen, a spokesperson for the carriage drivers, the horse, whose name is Ryder, fell due to EPM. Hansen explained, “The neurological effects of the EPM caused the horse to stumble and fall as the carriage driver is trying to change lanes and turn here on 45th street on the way home, and once he was down, he had difficulty getting up again from the neurological symptoms of EPM.” She explained that even though the police hosed down the horse, it was just a precaution. She continued, “They were hosing the horse down as a precaution, but they checked all of his vitals he had good temperature, good color in his gums and everything like that.”

In the video below, you can see the collapsed horse. The footage is disturbing, but if you watch until the end, you will see in update of how Ryder is doing now.

It is possible that Ryder will end up retiring, which is often what happens when a horse gets EPM due to the risk of falling.