HELL’S KITCHEN, Manhattan (PIX11) — A horrifying sight drew a large crowd in Manhattan on Wednesday night as officers hosed down a horse found on the ground.
Animal rights groups shared a video of the horse, named Ryder, on the ground near West 45th Street and Ninth Avenue. Officers from the NYPD Mounted Unit were called in to cool down the horse after it couldn’t stand up for some time. Bystanders looked on in shock and cheered when Ryder was finally able to stand up on his own.
Later, the Transit Workers Union shared a video of the horse eating hay back in the barn. Many believe the horse was suffering from heat stress, but the union said Ryder suffers from EDM, a neurological disease caused by opossum droppings which can cause weakness and poor balance.
This is the second time a carriage horse was seen collapsed on camera in the past three months. A video was shared by animal rights activists in May showing a horse on the ground in Central Park struggling to stand up due to colic, according to the union.
The union said its horses are given five weeks of vacation every year and are routinely checked by veterinarians.
In a statement, the transit workers union told PIX11 News, “…people shouldn’t rush to judgment about our horses or the blue-collar men and women who choose to work with them and care for them. Sadly, horses, like people, can get sick.”
The animal welfare group NYCLASS shot back, saying, “How many more incidents like this do we need? This is clearly animal abuse… we once again renew our calls for the City Council … to pass Intro 573, which would replace horse-drawn carriages with electric vehicles.”
Members of NYCLASS, as well as PETA’s, gathered outside City Hall at 12:30 p.m. to push for the passing of Intro 573.
“The city’s horse-carriage trade has been plagued for years by complaints of mistreatment and overwork of horses, and PETA is calling on the NYPD Animal Cruelty Investigations Squad to launch a criminal investigation into this incident,” PETA Director Ashley Byrne said in a statement.
Mayor Eric Adams has not yet signaled support to ban horse-drawn carriages in Central Park, unlike his predecessor.