Horse Carriage Drivers Need Your Help!

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Carriage drivers are asking the public for help in identifying the reckless and aggressive hit and run driver of a white late-model SUV.  The collision occurred at approximately 9:45 AM on Friday during the carriage horse's morning commute to Central Park.
The driver of the SUV was passing both carriages and cars aggressively on a stretch of 58th St. between 9th and 10th Avenues. Laying on the horn and attempting to push past two horse carriages and several cars, the SUV driver struck the front hub cap of a carriage just before the intersection with 9th Ave. The impact damaged the carriage and startled the horse. The SUV driver fled the scene, striking at least one more car on 58th St., traveling east bound.
The horse, Paddy, a 15-year-old Percheron cross gelding, got loose and ran towards the Central Park, his home away from home. He was taken by carriage drivers back to his stable on W. 52nd St. where he was examined by an equine vet. A piece of the carriage caused a small cut of about 4 inches on the horse’s rear leg The carriage driver was not injured.
Shop Steward Christina Hansen praised the efficiency of TWU Local 100’s rapid response safety team, which was able to reach the horse within minutes and return him via truck and trailer to his stable. The professionalism of all the carriage drivers helped ensure the safety of one of our beloved Central Park carriage horses. Collisions between carriages and other traffic are extremely rare in Manhattan. The last time a similar incident occurred was in 2012, and in both cases the horses were not seriously injured.
We are asking anyone with information to contact the police so this dangerous motorist can be apprehended. Several witnesses gave statements to NYPD and officers from the Mounted Unit checked in on Paddy in his stall.
Horses have the right of way and have every right to be here. Traffic violence perpetrated against New Yorkers, whether people or animals, has no place in this city. We hope the person who recklessly endangered Paddy and his driver is identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
TWU Local 100’s HEART Platform unveiled in August is asking the city for a number of improvements to New York City’s iconic carriage industry, including an earlier weekday start time, which would alleviate congestion during the morning commute from the existing stables in Hell’s Kitchen, and a prospective future home for the horses located inside Central Park.
Christina Hansen
Chief Shop Steward, Central Park Horse Carriages
Transport Workers Union Local 100