Liam Neeson defends NYC Carriage Horse industry

Kelly Kip
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Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:05 pm

Ballerina wrote:
Kelly Kip wrote: It's not complicated at all. The carriage industry has been well regulated for years. deBlaiso want them gone to repay big campaign donors, who want the land where the stables are for development.
Interesting! But I never once thought his motivation was for the welfare of these horses. They are treated well. I just think they belong in Central Park away from engine traffic. They are at far less risk in the park.
I agree somewhat that the horses would be better off environmentally in the park, but how would that move cut the driver's business? The Mayor is not looking for a compromise, just the opposite. He wants to ban them totally. The "welfare" argument is just a front.
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Ballerina
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Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:24 pm

Kelly Kip wrote:
Ballerina wrote:
Kelly Kip wrote: It's not complicated at all. The carriage industry has been well regulated for years. deBlaiso want them gone to repay big campaign donors, who want the land where the stables are for development.
Interesting! But I never once thought his motivation was for the welfare of these horses. They are treated well. I just think they belong in Central Park away from engine traffic. They are at far less risk in the park.
I agree somewhat that the horses would be better off environmentally in the park, but how would that move cut the driver's business? The Mayor is not looking for a compromise, just the opposite. He wants to ban them totally. The "welfare" argument is just a front.
It's a really big park. That's where the carriage rides use to be - not sure when or why they chose to take things to the street unless the passengers started using it as transport to another location. If that is the reason, it could very well affect business. Bill and I took a carriage ride and we specifically asked the driver to take us through Central Park. It's way prettier, a lot cooler on a hot summer day, and we weren't distracted by the engine hub pub and exhaust fumes around us. Most of the drivers line up along side the Plaza Hotel which is right across the street from the park. Drivers do take care of their horses, but they are at risk on the crowded streets of New York.
gravano
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Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:52 pm

Kelly Kip wrote:
gravano wrote:Yeah, I'm with Kip on this one. I don't like how the mayor is handling this at all.
It's a complicated issue and because the carriage industry represents such a small percentage of the voting public, he's not gonna take the time to listen to them.
It's not complicated at all. The carriage industry has been well regulated for years. deBlaiso want them gone to repay big campaign donors, who want the land where the stables are for development.
It's very complicated unfortunately. The general public perception is that this is a cruel practice. Using animals in traffic- and exhaust-choked downtown Manhattan to pull tourists. This is why the mayor thinks it's OK to do what he's doing. He thinks he has the moral high ground. Liam Neeson has a different perception, and it's an Irish one. He knows you can't just have horses for pets; you have to give them jobs. But most Americans simply have no interaction whatsoever with animals other than as pets or the Big Mac they paid 99 cents for.

Racing has to make a similar argument, and it could happen sooner rather than later. If casinos and politicians turn their back on horse racing, the way some did with Greyhounds (claiming the practice exploits animals) then racing will have to convince the public that what they do is in the best interest of the horse.
gravano
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Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:59 pm

“He should have manned up and come,” Mr. Neeson said (about de Blasio).

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/10/nyreg ... f=nyregion
horsefan
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Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:23 pm

De Blasio is a clown and already a terrible mayor - apart from this issue. How about the police horses? They are city horses and move around in traffic. Are they next? Please....
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Ballerina
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Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:33 am

horsefan wrote:De Blasio is a clown and already a terrible mayor - apart from this issue. How about the police horses? They are city horses and move around in traffic. Are they next? Please....
They are used for crowd control, parks patrol, ceremonies, and parades.
horsefan
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Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:56 pm

Ballerina wrote:
horsefan wrote:De Blasio is a clown and already a terrible mayor - apart from this issue. How about the police horses? They are city horses and move around in traffic. Are they next? Please....
They are used for crowd control, parks patrol, ceremonies, and parades.
You are correct, Ballerina. I have a place in Manhattan and understand the function of the police horses but thanks for letting folks who aren't familiar with NYC know.

My point simply was that there are other working horses in NYC and leave it to De Blasio to find a reason to get them out of the city as well.
Kelly Kip
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:09 am

Very nice blog post by Jon Katz, author.

Carriage Horses: Ride In The Park. Truth, Arrogance, And The Horses.

I met Stephen Malone at the Clinton Park Stables on Wednesday, we rode together in his carriage pulled by his horse Tyson, I told him I liked his office very much, and he smiled, turning to me, the sun glinting off his polished top hat. I felt for the people jammed in all of those towers looking down on us.

Lots of the drivers had top hats, but nobody looked as spit-spot as Malone, he is old school, he cares about style and appearnce. A big, genial Irishman, it would be easy to underestimate Malone, but that would be a mistake. He is open while still being cautious, he is honest without being foolhardy, his easy-going manner belies a man whose feet are firmly on the ground and who possesses a shrewd sense of power and politics. He always knew what to say, and never said the wrong thing.

Just as the carriage horse controversy is about much more than horses, Malone is much more than a driver, he has become the figurehead and spokesperson for the carriage trade as they battle the mighty armies gathering around them – the mayor, the City Council President, the A.S.P.C.A., the Humane Society of the United States, a millionaire animal rights ideologue with millions of dollars to give to politicians and an angry and obsessive army of followers, a slew of celebrities saying very strange things about the horses, and some billionaire real estate developers hovering like vampires over the stables: once on the edge of Hell's Kitchen, now in the middle of the hottest real estate market in New York City.

Malone has some allies also. The powerful Teamsters Union – the union began representing horse carriage drivers - Liam Neeson, a vast army of horse and animal lovers all over the country who are appalled at the campaign against the carriage horses and, according to the latest survey, three out of every four New Yorkers. He also, he says, has a lot of supportive City Council members, he won't say how many.

Still, those are pretty powerful odds for a bunch of working-class immigrants who like to ride horses around Central Park – I have not encountered any millionaires around the stables – but if Malone is frightened or discouraged, he has learned how to hide it. The drivers come from everywhere, but there is an Irish streak in the carriage trade. I have many Irish friends, and have written about many Irish politicians and writers in my career, and there is one thing that every single one of them has in common – they are happy to fight, used to fighting, and the bigger the odds, the happier and more joyous the fight. The Irish have been fighting powerful armies and enemies forever, it is almost routine for them, even if it is never pleasant.

I love my rides in the horse carriages, I am embarrassed that I always saw them as something tourists from Iowa and Japan did, not urban sophisticates like me. My carriage rides have opened my eyes to the city in a new and sometimes magical way. The clip-clop of the hooves on the road seems to invoke some ancient and timeless feeling, and from the park, I have the time and perspective to see the skyscrapers in a way I have never seen them before, they rise up above the trees and meadows like mystical cliffs, the majesty and power and history and promise of the city is revealed. I see the gargoyles and cornices and water towers, the hawks diving after pigeons, the gold leaf gleaming in the sun.

I noticed that Tyson, like the other horses I have seen in the park, doesn't need to be told where to go. Malone, like the other drivers, holds the reins but as we moved up the West Side from the stables, Tyson seemed to sense the traffic, he stopped when the lights were red, started moving when they were green.

We walked past all kinds of noise and mayhem – grinding garbage trucks, screeching taxis, horn-honking angry commuters, utility crews with jackhammers, pile-driving cranes on construction sites, steam pouring out of excavation holes and manhole covers. Two fire engines with ear-shattering air horns roared past us on either side, Tyson didn't flinch, even when I did. The horse seemed a lot calmer than many of the people around him. Most of the commuters ignored the horses, a lot of people waved at Stephen Malone, gave him the thumbs up, yelled at him to "hang in there." I saw one or two people glower at us. I am always astonished that driving a horse drawn carriage is the most controversial job in New York City right now.

The only time Tyson snorted was when we past a cement mixer grinding away three feet from him, I am told that every equine in the world hates a cement mixer. Malone said something quietly to him and Tyson shook his head and moved on.

It's odd but every time I ride in Central Park, I see a part of New York that I didn't quite grasp and love even more – the people walking and running, the grand hotels, the towering West Side apartment houses, the gorgeous East Side museums, the famous shops, the contrails and clouds in the sky, the statues and paths and fountains of the park. The park is a magnificent testament to the civic pride and promise of a great city, I walked in it a thousand times, until my carriage ride I never saw it at all. There is something quite wonderful about these calm and gentle animals, if the city leaders were awake, they might think of bringing the horses elsewhere in the city, there is no better or more meaningful way to see it – the pace, the simplicity, the open view. People feel good around them, they smile and wave to them, pull out their cameras and cellphones, that is quite visible.

It was a beautiful thing to see when we broke into the open and trotted into the park, the quiet and peacefulness there was almost magical in contrast with the din of the city. I always thought riding in a horse drawn carriage was something of a cliche, this way of looking at the city, but then I realized something I have noticed before, cliches are cliches because they are often so true. In the midst of the great cacophony, a great swatch of nature, a man in a top hat, a carriage, a big and beautiful horse, a world almost shockingly in balance.

"Do you think you will prevail?," I asked Malone.

"Yes, I do," said Malone, "I am certain of it."

"Why?," I asked him.

I could see that he had been waiting for the question.

First, he said, because we are telling the truth. Secondly, he said, because the people against us are so arrogant and the people of New York are on our side. And finally, he said, because of the horses. They belong here, they always have and they always will.



http://www.bedlamfarm.com/2014/04/05/ca ... he-horses/
PJMIII
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:33 am

Great post KK. Thanks for sharing it.
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Ballerina
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:09 am

Article focuses on getting to Central Park which is where these carriage horses belong.
Catalina
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Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:44 am

Central Park and horse-drawn carriages go together just fine, and are a wonderful thing to preserve.
BaroqueAgain1
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Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:49 pm

The latest news has de Blasio backing off on seeking the ban until the end of the year, at least.
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/hor ... -1.1754825
gravano
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Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:33 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/15/opini ... -park.html

Liam Neeson takes his case to the Times. You're screwed de Blasio!

Image
Blue Jeans
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Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:25 pm

The recent runaway carriage horse in downtown Savannah didn't help matters any! I'm just south of Savannah, so this video is not new to me, but it might be to others.

http://www.wspa.com/story/25257388/runa ... n-savannah

http://www.wsav.com/story/25242109/deve ... n-accident

Earlier this spring, Paula Deen suddenly closed her brother's Bubba's Oyster House restaurant on Whitemarsh Island ... and now a runaway carriage horse to frighten the visitors away from downtown Savannah ... spells trouble for the local Chamber of Commerce.

Oh, and to top it off! The Budweiser Clydesdales didn't show up for this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade, which happens to be the main reason most folks attend that gala event. :(
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction. ~ Cowboy saying

There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers
Plenilune
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Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:20 pm

Whoa there: NYC carriage horse ban is stalled

http://news.yahoo.com/whoa-nyc-carriage ... 24214.html

"The next blow came when a series of city unions — who usually are de Blasio's staunchest allies — broke with the mayor, urging him to reconsider his decision in order to save not only the industry's hundreds of jobs but a profitable source of tourism."

"New York's Daily News launched a front-page campaign called "Save our Horses" that filled its pages with pro-carriage stories and an online petition that has recorded more than 11,000 signatures."

Glad to see the push-back!
BaroqueAgain1
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Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:03 pm

Interesting photo series from Yahoo on the Central Park carriage horses.
http://news.yahoo.com/photos/central-pa ... slideshow/
Blue Jeans
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Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:41 am

Yikes! It happened again on Tuesday of this week in downtown Charleston! :(

http://www.abcnews4.com/story/25313008/ ... o-accident


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A day after what police described as a spooked horse ran free down Market Street and crashed into a building, a carriage company's operations manager explained what led to the incident.

According to Benjamin Doyle, the operations manager at Palmetto Carriage Company, the horse was drinking water from a large trash can before going out on tour. The trash can is used by Charleston Carriage Works to hold water and is kept at the loading area where passengers get on and off the carriages.

"The horse bent his head down and hooked his bridle in the trash can, pulled the bridle up over his head just enough to release the bit and drop the blinders," Doyle said.

Doyle says the horse equates losing the blinders and bit with freedom because that's how they end their day.

It was made worse, he said, because the carriage comes into view and the horse is not used to seeing what is behind him.

"They're agitated because the equipment is shifted and it's a very quick panic," he said.

Doyle said the driver of the carriage did a great job Tuesday trying to keep the passengers safe, but added she was pretty helpless without the bit in the horse's mouth to control it.

There was a little bit of damage to the market building, but the city market's assistant director Lee Gilliard said they are working with the businesses in the market and insurance to make sure everything is fixed.

"We estimate right now it's probably no more than $!,000 or so. We'll go through the proper steps getting the estimates," Gilliard said.

Gilliard said the accident happened as vendors were closing up for the day, adding that everyone with the city is glad that no one was walking outside the building at the time of the incident.

There were three people on the carriage at the time of the accident, police said. They and one other person standing in the market had a few cuts and bruises, but there were no serious injuries.

Shortly after the accident, a Facebook page named "Stop Charleston Carriage Rides" was formed. It's headed by Sarah Swingle.

"Our main concern is the safety of the public and the horses because carriage accidents like the one that happened [Tuesday] do happen, no matter how careful the drivers are because those horses are easily spooked, and that's not something that can be trained out of them," she said.

Swingle says she would like to see the carriage rides end immediately. She hopes the Facebook page will start the talks on banning horse-drawn carriages, much like the ban being discussed in New York City.

Others, like taxi driver Reynolds Pommering, says he errs on the side of caution and always yields to the horses.

"Don't do anything sudden. If that horse seems like he wants to turn right or left to go in front of you, just hit the brakes, stop, and let them go," he said.

Officials at Charleston Carriage Works released a statement saying they would examine their practices to see waht they could do differently to ensure safety. The owner said the horse involved in the accident was not injured.<
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction. ~ Cowboy saying

There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers
gravano
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Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:46 am

Blue Jeans
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Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:55 am

gravano wrote:The cover of the New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/c ... ide_ss_0=1
They're better off sticking to 'dog cartoons', huh? :lol:

From wiki:
>The most reprinted [cartoon] is Peter Steiner's 1993 drawing of two dogs at a computer, with one saying, "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog". According to Mankoff, Steiner and the magazine have split more than $100,000 in fees paid for the licensing and reprinting of this single cartoon, with more than half going to Steiner.<

Oh, and as if we didn't know, even if it took them almost 80 years .... :roll:

From wiki:
>In its November 1, 2004 issue, the magazine for the first time [magazine debuted Feb. 1925] endorsed a president candidate, choosing to endorse John Kerry over George W. Bush. This was continued in 2008 when the magazine endorsed Barack Obama over John McCain, and in 2012 when it endorsed Obama over Mitt Romney.<
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction. ~ Cowboy saying

There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers
Kelly Kip
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Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:02 pm

Story about an incident on Thursday, which the media totally got wrong.

http://www.bedlamfarm.com/2014/04/25/th ... is-abused/
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