This is Bruno. He is a NYC carriage horse in the system for about two years. Last Thursday, May 23rd, our VP, Mary Culpepper, was caught in the downpour around Columbus Circle and the hack line. Flash flood warnings and thunderstorms started in the early afternoon – certainly time for the drivers to go back to their stables about 15 minutes away. Many did not and continued to try to get business. Thank you, Mary, for documenting what happened with the horses. This is a more extensive photo journal on Flickr. Click here.
Susan Wagner, president of Equine Advocates and horse expert, commented on the picture: Horses, in general love the rain. Most of our horses are out in it all the time by choice…but then there are a few who do not like it and choose to be in their stalls. The worst part of this picture to me is the fact that the horse is not able to move about freely This appears to be a depressed animal. Even if this horse loved the rain, being forced to stand for hours tied and having to wear heavy equipment without the ability to move about is completely unnatural. The streaks you see are normal for gray horses. It’s just the rain. This is a sad photo of a horse who is purely miserable.
It is against the law for horses to be worked in adverse weather, including heavy rain. Once again, we wonder where the ASPCA was. If they told some of the drivers to go back – they obviously did not wait to see if they all did. Other pictures taken that day show the heavy rain and other drivers out looking for fares.