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A Life and Death Without Dignity-NYC Advocates Seek Ban on Horse Carriages

September 19, 2006 | Horses / Press Releases

A Coalition including Friends of Animals, and other groups whose goal is to enact a ban on horse-drawn carriages, once again urges Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC Council to pass legislation to end the exploitative carriage horse industry.

We ask the public to boycott carriage horses until they are officially disallowed.

After a string of accidents this year, the latest tragedy occurred September 15th, when a horse named Juliet collapsed in Central Park at 9:30pm, while pulling a carriage. Onlookers were horrified as Mr. Provenzano, the driver of the carriage, began striking Juliet repeatedly in the flank with a whip in an effort to get her on her feet again. Claiming he was acting on advice from his veterinarian, the driver continued whipping the horse--as onlookers yelled at him to stop. A police officer also ordered Provenzano to stop the beating.

Yet officers from the mounted unit arrived at the scene and allowed Provenzano to continue whipping Juliet. Eventually a rug was brought over, which Juliet was placed upon, and she was then dragged into a police trailer and taken to the West Side Livery Stables at 38th St.-finally dying at 5am after several hours of treatment. The ASPCA is currently investigating to ascertain why and how Juliet died, and if this is a criminal case of cruelty. Results of the necropsy are expected within a few days.

Purchased by Provenzano last year for just $1700, Juliet, likely a former farm horse, had been pulling a carriage for at least 17 years. The stable in which she died was effectively her prison.


Many modern cities have ended the tradition of animal-drawn vehicles. Why? These animals do not belong in commercial activity that forces them to compete with heavy traffic or be exposed to harsh elements. This is as true in New York City as anywhere in the world.


Keeping commercial horse activity adjacent to Central Park, as Council Member Tony Avella has proposed, fails to acknowledge that horses would still travel a congested corridor en route to the Park -- also a route for emergency vehicles to and from St. Vincent's Midtown Hospital and Roosevelt Hospital, and a conduit to the Lincoln Tunnel and the West Side Highway.

Edita Birnkrant, a founding member of the Coalition, explains, "Accidents have occurred in Central Park as well as in the streets. Public safety is at risk in the park, which is filled with bicyclists, runners, children and pedestrians. Enough, enough, now! We can't wait for yet another tragedy to occur before the Mayor and City Council take this issue seriously."

Regulating the industry will not stop public safety problems. And regulations seek to sustain a disrespectful practice that needs to be ended in order for New York City to join Toronto, Paris and London as leaders in more enlightened attitudes about nonhuman animals.

The Coalition has drafted legislation which would effectively phase out this industry and seeks to have an adoption program for the horses so they do not go to kill auctions.

What to Do:

~Contact New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and tell him that you strongly support the effort to ban the horse-drawn carriage industry in NYC.

People from all over the country and the world are encouraged to contact Mayor Bloomberg, since horse carriages are considered a tourism draw. NYC officials need to hear from potential tourists who are outraged that this exploitative industry exists in NYC, and caters to tourists.

Send an E-Mail now.

Telephone: 311 or 212-NEW YORK- (outside NYC)

FAX: 212.788.2460


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

More info can be found at

~New Yorkers should also contact their City Council Member and ask them to support legislation that will ban the horse-drawn carriage industry.


This was 1 sick horse,you people make it sound impossible that a horse can get sick! Wake up! Maybe this owner might not be the best,but he was doing what he instructed to do,and the Mounted police,didn't see a problem or cruel act taking place.Where was the aspca? No where around to assist as usual,except issue a notice not to use the horse,probably. [Blog editors' note: Thanks for the "you people" advice, as that always goes over like a lead balloon. We're working to enact a ban on horse-drawn carriages so that healthy and sick horses aren't exploited by the carriage horse industry. Whipping a horse is deplorable, and if that doesn't sound like a common-sense view, then substitute yourself in the place of the horse, and suggest whether whipping would bring you to your senses. Talk about "waking up..." ]

Was Provenzano arrested? Why weren't police physically able to stop him from continuing to beat Juliet? Would these police officers also stand by while a mugger was beating a human victim?

if the horse was sick or not, it should have not been there period. if i saw that halfwit beating that horse, i would have put that whip where the sun dont shine and see how he liked it. they should ban these horse carriges all together. replace them with rickshaws and put the pinheads that run these horses to the ground on them,people can pay to whip them for going through life being so stuppid and lazy, then maybe they will go out and get a education and a real job that actually takes brains to do.nothing worse than dressing up like an idiot to pull some lazy slob around to look at the sights. i guess its true, people will do anything for a buck, even degrade themselves at the expense of an animal.

I am horrified to read of this further incident involving the death of a horse in NYC. Busy and hectic NYC is the last city in the world where they should allowed these horse carriages to operate, and they should in fact be banned all over the world. I have just sent Mayor Bloomberg an e-mail to that effect. The owner of the horse should get the highest punishment for his cruelty! I hope Juliet is up there in horse heaven in a beuatiful green meadow with all the other working horses who have succombed under their unfair hard labour... [Blog editors' note: The Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages is planning a rally early the week of September 25, at Central Park where the horses are stationed. We'll be updating this information on the blog, so please stay tuned.]

I think that Juliet died because she was over worked and under fed just so the Provenzano didn't have get a real job so he beat and worked Julit to death. the goverment ban all hourse-drawn carriages in every city,every state in the u.s.provenzano should be charaged in animal crulty .the police officer should be also be charged for letting provenzano beat juiet with the whip she died just just to make provenzano dollar.

this article is so sad, it made me cry..I've leved in nyc for many years and worked right next to time warner. i would pass by these poor helpless horses very often to feel my heart breaking. every horse had the same look on her face-hoplessness. i really don't give a crap what ignorant people say-but animals-feel, feel pain, feel happiness...these horses don't belong there or anywhere in nyc-maybe in a specific stables (i'm talking humane). I've been an advocate for aspca for many years, and we've been trying to stop all this MESS for years, hopefully our dear mayor will finally listen. not one of God's creatures deserves to be treated like that.. it's sad to see so many people talk a lot and do nothing about it. SO SAD..WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO.....

These animals are paraded up and down crowded Avenues and Streets, with the sound of horns, city noises and distractions just to make someone feel good. Let them stay in the Park. Their hooves are not meant for city streets. C'mon. Wake up!!

NO animal ANYWHERE should be used to make a human money.....GET A REAL JOB..........OR YOU PULLTHE CARRIAGE!

i agree that these horse drawn carriages should be banned.

I think that anyone whom hurts animals is just a monster and this issue with the horses has to stop. People have to relize that animals where put here to love them not hurt ,abuse , or make them slaves to please people. They are gifts from God. Hello people wake up and stop being so selfish thinking of only yourselfs and wanting to use horses cause you dont feel like walking in the park. Get up and walk. Stop this abuse to all animals and these horses.


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