Debating the Central Park Horses

| 17 Feb 2015 | 12:59

Last week's coverage of the proposed ending of horse carriage rides sparked an avalanche of commentary Since their livelihoods depend on their horses, why would the drivers "mistreat" their horses? The horse-carriages are one of the icons that ARE New York. Who would take a carriage ride in Chicago, Peoria or Cleveland? There is a big difference between pedicabs and carriage rides that has to do with the romance of New York. This has been an issue for so long and those who are against them perhaps have no romance in their souls and I feel sorry for these unhappy people.

Melissa Gibbs

W. 81st Street

No, I don't think horse and carriages should be banned from the park and streets of our city because a small group of fanatics think they should. Yes, there have been incidents when a horse is harmed in traffic or just collapses for no apparent reason, but those incidents are few and far between. The horse and carriage is a long-revered icon in the city and should be maintained for visitors of all kinds. The virtual romance they inspire has been depicted in one film after another and should be continued for the future. And I'm a lover of all animals. I would further like to say that the many regulations and guidelines now in place are strictly followed by the industry and should therefore be figured into the equation. I will write to the new mayor to voice my opinion and I hope all other New Yorkers who want to save the horses and their carriages should do so also.

John Elari

W. 74th Street

I think that the horse carriage should stay but be limited to Central Park. The horses shouldn't be on the streets, but I'm fine with them making tourists happy by working in the Park. Sincerely,

Marcia Epstein

W. 97th Street

We are very upset that our mayor, Bill De Blasio, intends to ban the Horse Carriage Trade. We are 82 years of age and have lived at the same address since 1967. We do not believe that the horses are abused in any way. They are kept in clean stalls at stables and fed very adequately. I've never seen a skinny carriage horse. Their work is better than the alternative (dog food). If we had known of De Blasio's plan, we would not have voted for him. If he goes ahead with this, he will not get our vote again.

If there are going to be any demonstrations against his plan, please e-mail or call us. We are avid horse lovers. We'd be happy to participate.

How many people does he want to put out of work? It's not just the carriage drivers, there is a whole chain of people.

Many years ago my grandfather Albert Wills was a dedicated milkman in Queens for the Renken Dairy. His longtime horse, Red, was very intelligent. He would move from one house to the next without being told , waiting for my granddad, who carried 12 bottles of milk in a metal carrier, to return. He cried when Red died in front of him.

We heartily feel that the horse carriage trade should not be banned because of a few activists say so.

Could it be that there is money behind this, and someone wants the stables out in order to build another Needle Tower?

Doris and George Campbell

Amsterdam Avenue

For the past few years, I have worked alongside my fellow animal lover friends in NYClass to help put an end to the horse carriage industry in New York. When this industry first took hold in New York 150 years ago, it made sense since it provided, in part, a means of transportation for the city, before the advent of the automobile as we now know it. Today, it has not only morphed into a tourist attraction, at the expense of these wonderful animals, but also has infringed on the quality of life of all who live and/or work in Manhattan. No one is looking to deprive anyone else of a livelihood, especially in our current economy, as perhaps some carriage drivers would have it. In truth, instances of animal abuse have been uncovered, and traffic accidents -- even injury to tourists -- have occurred.

Our city has enough traffic congestion as it is, compounded by pollution created by gas emissions from cars. This practice has proven, time and time again, to be hazardous to man and beast alike.

NYClass has proposed a common sense alternative to the horse & carriage: a "green" eco friendly car which can accommodate 8 people. All that the lady and gentlemen who currently steer the horses through traffic need to do would be to brush up on their driving, thereby transferring their skills to a safer and more modern means of tourist transport.

I am pleased and proud that Mayor de Blasio has the integrity and the courage to finally right what has been a wrong for way too long.

Wendy Glickstein

E. 83rd Street

ONLINE LETTERS "I'm thrilled that Mayor de Blasio is taking the reins in putting an end to carriage horse abuse. Finally, we can all live, work, and play freely, while at the same time, breathing a sigh of relief." - Wendy

"It is just common sense that horse carriages do not belong in the middle of the most congested city in America. It seems like every few weeks there is another accident in the city between a horse, car and pedestrians. I'm glad that NYC will finally put an end to this inhumane practice." - Charlie di Giacomo

"These horses are private property. They have value and the drivers aren't going to 'adopt' them to people who know nothing about horses and don't believe draft horses should have jobs. De Blasio is kowtowing to a real estate develop who covets the stables and donated heavily to his campaign." - Olivia Joan

"The horse carriage industry is not only dangerous to the horses but pedestrians are endangered when a horse spooks or bolts. This mode of transportation simply isn't safe in the 21st Century. I am proud to work in a city that has elected such an animal friendly and humane mayor." - Polly McBride

"Even PETA, as hard as they try, can't come up with a record of any pedestrian being hurt by a horse and carriage since 1999. Unless you are suggesting that because an activity MIGHT hurt a pedestrian, it should be banned from NYC? If that's the case, Mayor de Blasio needs to start with a ban on autos in NYC, they are a REAL threat. Animal friendly? Humane? Hardly. He's ready to make homeless and jobless 220 well cared for horses." - Katrina

"No one will 'adopt' the carriage horses. Horses are very expensive to feed, provide with medical care and dental care (yes! they need dental care also) and to have proper horseshoes. There already are many 'retired' race horses and wild horses that no one wants to adopt because of the cost. The carriages should just be used inside Central Park." - Fran Garber