Erin Durkin; New York Daily News; February 27, 2017
A Central Park carriage horse collapsed last week, prompting an anti-carriage group to call for an investigation.
But the horse’s driver says it simply tripped and fell and wasn’t hurt, and is back at work after getting a clean bill of health from a vet.
NYCLASS, the animal rights group that has fought for years to ban the carriage trade, distributed photos taken by a bystander of a white horse they say fell to the ground after breathing heavily last Tuesday around 10 a.m., near Tavern on the Green in the park.
“Horses don’t just collapse. Something happened — and the city should get to the bottom of it and make sure it never happens again,” said spokesman John Collins. “They should conduct an immediate investigation into the health and whereabouts of this horse, including allowing an independent vet to examine the animal.”
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Driver Chris Emanus said the horse, whose name is Max, is doing just fine.
Max had just returned to work after spending eight months at a farm upstate and had his shoes replaced, he said.
“He tripped. His foot got stuck on a little crack on the pavement. He went down,” Emanus said. “That happens all the time with horses. With new shoes, sometimes they’re not comfortable.”
Emanus said the horse was able to get up on his own after he unhooked its carriage, and was checked on the spot by NYPD mounted police. He took the horse back to the stable where a veterinarian examined it and found no injuries.
“He had no scratches, no nothing,” Emanus said. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I’m one person who doesn’t take any chances with my horses, none whatsoever.”
Max returned to pulling tourists around the park on Monday after bloodwork came back normal, he said.
Mayor de Blasio, a one-time NYCLASS ally, had vowed to ban horse carriages, but his plan collapsed in the City Council.
The anti-carriage group contends that accidents occur frequently but are often unreported, and says an examination should be done by an outside vet.
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