A New York City tourist told 1010 WINS this morning she was 'traumatized' after a Central Park carriage ride ended when the horse was spooked by a passing pedicab, started walking backwards and then fell to the ground.
Screaming, she, her son and husband jumped out of the carriage and frantically ran away. There were no injuries.
Theresa Shaver said she was also shocked to see that shortly after the accident, the carriage driver allegedly had the horse back up and ready to take more rides.
“You put him back to work after he drops to the ground twice?” she berates the driver as seen on the YouTube video (see the second video below), adding, "That's fucking nuts."
Ian McKeever, a spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Drivers Association, told WINS that Shaver is “crazy” and overreacted.
McKeever claims the horse just tripped like a person might trip, was brought back to the stable for evaluation and found to be in good condition. He also said the horse returned to giving rides only the next day.
Judge for yourself below. It does seem like Shaver overreacts a little bit.
However, the incident does bring the ongoing debate about carriage horses back into the spotlight.
In June, New York State Senator Tony Avella and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal introduced a bill to ban carriage horse rides in New York City, citing the "brutal conditions" the animals are forced to endure.
Just last week, a horse-drawn carriage was involved in a nasty accident with a taxi cab and earlier this year, a video surfaced of a Central Park horse drinking disgusting, contaminated water from a puddle on the street.
The American Girl retail chain canceled its planned summer carriage rides, saying the horses are treated inhumanely, and an online petition asking Mayor Bloomberg to ban the iconic New York activity currently has almost 18,000 signatures.
Other legislation to ban carriage horse rides in New York failed to pass in 2007 and 2010.
And here's Shaver approaching the carriage driver after the accident. (WARNING: Graphic language)