Horse-drawn carriage rides are a common sight on the streets of New York City, especially around the Central Park area. There has been lots of controversy in recent years regarding the welfare of these animals, but apparently, the events continue. Unfortunately, during a recent carriage ride, a horse collapsed.

Witnesses comment on the horse collapse

Reporters spoke with locals in the Central Park area regarding the fall of a horse who stated that they saw the animal when it began breathing heavily before collapsing right in front of a famed restaurant.

Animal rights advocates are asking for a serious investigation into the incident by the city, especially after another horse collapsed under similar circumstances. Last summer, a horse by the name of Norman also fell to the ground outside of a midtown nightclub. The group known as the NYCLASS animal rights group asked for a thorough investigation into the welfare of these animals and the guidelines regulating those who operate horse-drawn carriage rides throughout the city.

Now another horse named Max began labored breathing and fell over. Several people took pictures of the animal in distress until the police arrived on the scene to begin the investigation. Luckily, Max regained his footing and was able to get up again but not without the help of the driver.

The only comment by one of the carriage drivers is that the horse just tripped and fell. It happens sometimes. A report of the incident was not filed with the Police Department.

Efforts of Mayor Bill de Blasio and concerns of the NYCLASS

The advocacy group NYCLASS says that horses don’t just collapse for no reason. A spokesman for the organization continued to tell reporters that “Authorities should conduct an immediate investigation into the health and whereabouts of this horse, including allowing an independent vet to examine the animal.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed possible methods to tighten regulations and further funding for stables, but his proposal was blocked by the City Council due to pressures from stable owners and labor organizations.

The proposal would limit where and under what conditions carriages can operate. The carriage operators seem to justify when the horses collapse, like in the case with Norman when he was said to be kind of a klutz. There was no police report during that incident either.

Horse-drawn carriage rides are a common occurrence throughout Central Park and midtown Manhattan for the pleasure of thousands of tourists to hire them to see the sights.

Animal rights activists continue to fight these practices because of the lack of care for the horses. They are required to be on their feet for endless hours in extreme heat, in congested and stressful environments.