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Letters & Editorials

Would You Want a Carriage Horse's Life?

June 20, 2004

To the Editor:

Life for carriage horses is hardly as idyllic as ''Far From the Cheers at Belmont, a Gentle Survivor Plies His Trade'' (May 30) makes it seem.

While they are on the streets, working horses must endure the smoke and exhaust fumes of passing cars, which can damage their lungs. They often suffer from lameness, hoof deterioration or inflamed leg muscles from constantly walking and standing on the hard surfaces.

And while the animals owned by Cornelius Patrick Byrne at Central Park Carriages may indeed be ''as calm as possible,'' even the calmest horses can become spooked by traffic, causing injury to themselves or to their human passengers.

In a busy city like New York, carriage rides aren't romantic -- they're cruel.

Virginia Beach, Va.

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