New York City Carriage Horse Drops Dead in the Street

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Matthew Miller / Polaris

A day slated for trotting in the park took an early tragic turn for Charlie, a New York City horse.

Early Sunday morning, on his way to Central Park to begin a day of carting tourists around, the white carriage horse keeled over and died in the street, according to the New York Daily News. Unsurprisingly, the horse’s death, which took place at West 54th Street near Eighth Avenue, has incensed animal rights activist groups, including the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages.

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Though a necropsy will be performed on the animal to determine the exact cause of death, Elizabeth Forel from the Coalition told the Daily News that a “healthy horse doesn’t just die on the street.”

The ASPCA, who’s performing the necropsy, has also spoken out against the way the carriage horses are treated. The organization’s chief legal counsel, Stacy Wolf, said the “ASPCA has long believed that carriage horses were never meant to live and work in today’s urban setting.”

A spokesman for the┬áHorse and Carriage Association of New York said that though the incident was tragic, “it’s not something that happens regularly.” And a spokesperson for Teamsters Local 533, the union that represents the carriage drivers, told NBC that Charlie hadn’t been neglected and had been working in the city for less than a month.

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