Media Coverage


You Can Lead A Horse to Water if There is Any  
Elizabeth Forel  

From November to March each year, the New York City Parks Department turns off the two troughs that supply water to the horses that pull carriages in Midtown Manhattan. During these winter months, the only time the horses have access to water is when the carriage drivers open the fire hydrants or when a stable hand occasionally puts water in the trough closer to Fifth Avenue, but it, too, is often empty. The trough near Sixth Avenue has been turned into a garbage receptacle, filled with coffee cups and candy wrappers. Horses need 8-10 gallons of water each day, but in their present situation, they are not getting nearly that much. We've documented the horses continually lowering their heads into the empty troughs in search of water.

Earlier this month, an 8-year-old horse named Clancy died at Clinton Stables - reportedly from colic. Colic can be caused by many things including lack of water, lack of turnout, and improper deworming. From 2004 through 2006, 13 horses died behind closed stable doors - something not reported in the media or investigated. Six were under 9 years old. Working horses need as much water in cold weather as they do when it is hot. Holly Cheever, a doctor of veterinary medicine and an equine specialist, stated, "The lack of adequate fluid intake puts horses at risk for colic, a possibly fatal intestinal disorder - not to mention creating a condition of extreme discomfort, adding to the level of suffering they face from overwork and 'double shifting' in the holiday season."

During the warmer seasons, the public troughs, which are the horses' only water source during their shifts, are an enormous source of pollutants and constitute a perfect medium for disease transmission. The Comptroller's Audit of the oversight of city agencies on this industry, dated June 27, 2007, noted the lack of water available to the carriage horses, but it has yet to be corrected. The lack of safe, potable water is a violation the New York State anti-cruelty laws, which states that it is a misdemeanor for anyone who "deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink or neglects or refuses to furnish it." It is both shameful and inhumane to force these gentle giants to either go without water, drink filthy water from the troughs or be dependent upon the good graces of their driver.

Elizabeth Forel is the president of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages.

Coalition To Ban
Horse-Drawn Carriages

A Committee of the Coalition For New York City Animals, Inc.

The Coalition for
NYC Animals, Inc.

P.O. Box 20247
Park West Station
New York, NY 10025


To honor
Bobby II Freedom
previously known as Billy
ID# 2873 rescued by the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and Equine Advocates on June 25, 2010 from the New Holland auctions.

In memory of
Lilly Rose O'Reilly
previously known
as Dada ID# 2711
R.I.P.August, 2007