Bobby II, Rescued New York City Carriage Horse – Update as of 7.6.2010 by Susan Wagner
As many of you know, Equine Advocates expedited the rescue of a former New York City carriage horse named Bobby II on June 25. He was destined for certain slaughter.
I found out about this situation on Friday, June 25th when I was contacted by Elizabeth Forel of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages. She asked that we get involved to try to save this horse’s life. He had already been sold for slaughter, but there was a deadline for him to be resold by 4 PM that same afternoon or else he would be shipped out…So it was really urgent that we act immediately. Forel’s group and Friends of Animals, also a member of the coalition, funded Bobby’s purchase and transportation to New York from New Holland, Pennsylvania which was where he was being held. Equine Advocates made the arrangements for his purchase, his immediate transport to an equine hospital in New York and ultimately for his transport to Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary, our 140-acre horse sanctuary in Chatham, New York where Bobby II would be retired.
On Monday, June 28th at approximately 8 PM, my sister, Karen and I met Bobby II as the horse van pulled into the rear parking lot of Rhinebeck Equine (Hospital). As soon as he got off the trailer, we could see what a kind and gentle soul he was. He is a beautiful bay gelding who definitely is a Draft cross. To me , he looks like he’s a Draft/Standardbred cross. The hauler said he was an ideal passenger and that the ride was uneventful. Bobby II possessed the 4-digit Hoof Number which is how all New York City carriage horses are identified. His New York City Hoof License Plate Number was 2873 which had been carved into his left front hoof. He also possessed quite a few old scars on his face and around his head and neck which appeared to be sustained as a result of the equipment he was forced to wear while working on the streets of New York City.
The official vet report which was written by the examining veterinarian at Rhinebeck Equine was both troubling and alarming. Bobby’s age was estimated at 18. The result of a preliminary lameness test showed that he was “…head-bobbing lame…” in his front right limb when trotted in a straight line on hard ground. In addition, a fecal exam revealed that he was filled with worms and that his teeth were also badly neglected. The good news was that he was not underweight and his blood work was normal. It is my opinion that Bobby was being scrapped for slaughter because he was older, lame and not able to work any longer. It was abundantly clear that he had not received veterinary care in quite some time.
On Wednesday, June 30, 2010, Equine Advocates’ Farm Manager, Lisa Amtower and myself drove in our horse trailer to Rhinebeck Equine to take Bobby II to his new home in Chatham. We arrived at the sanctuary at approximately 10:30 AM to a waiting group of well-wishers, including Equine Advocates staff members, volunteers, supporters and a film crew. Bobby II will live out the rest of his days at our sanctuary, far from the cruel existence that so many other urban carriage horses suffer before being discarded when they can no longer work. This horse is definitely one of the lucky ones.
We hope you enjoy the photos of Bobby – stay tuned for upcoming video. Equine Advocates is now looking for a Sponsor for Bobby II. For more information about our Equine Sponsorship Program, please visit our website at www.equineadvocates.org.
The New York Times reported this story on 7/6/2010.
Bobby II was named in honor of Bobby, a Long Island carriage horse rescued by Equine Advocates in 2001. He passed away on January 14, 2010 at the ripe old age of 30.