Saturday, March 15, 2008
What We Know & What We Think We Know
A close call in Aspen for a 5-year-old girl who was trapped underneath an overturned carriage
Horses spook, and no horse is unspookable. This is patently clear and yet we continue to see disturbing and even gruesome images of accidents involving carriage horses that spooked, even in beautiful places like Aspen, Colo., which is decidedly less frantic a setting than New York City. (Photo credit: Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)
In the Aspen accident, a car pulled up alongside the horse, causing it to spook, back up, and flail--overturning the carriage and spilling the driver and the family of five onto the sidewalk. The girl was trapped briefly but escaped serious injury. The horse was not injured. (Statistically speaking, this is highly unusual).
Aspen Police Sgt. Bill Linn was quoted as saying that horse-drawn carriages are not vehicles..."they're basically an amusement ride." This statement is not only misguided, but it poses a serious threat to public safety. It also demonstrates a disregard of the cruelty that is inherent in putting a horse into traffic.
A 1500-pound horse that spooks in traffic is a dangerous weapon. Statistically, this accident is unique in that no one was killed. Horses have an innate and finely tuned fight-or-flight instinct. They pose clear danger to themselves as well as public safety when they spook.
Learn more: Read "No Such Thing As an Unspookable Horse (Jan. 1, 2008 post, HorseWatchNYC)
New York residents (5 boroughs): Ask your elected Council Member to support Intro. 658, the bill to ban horse-drawn carriages -- Find Your Council Member Act now!
Call the mayor's office at 311 and voice your support of Intro. 658, the bill to ban horse-drawn carriages.
Non-New Yorkers: Tell the mayor's office that you don't want to visit New York until horse-drawn carriages are banned.
Email the mayor's office
Call the mayor's office at: 212-NEW-YORK (outside NYC)
Write the mayor:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
New York, NY 10007