I am beyond thrilled to finally be able to announce the details of an important project we have been working on since 2019. I was contacted by a supporter who was upset about the condition and treatment of NYC carriage horses and asked me if any progress had been made to finally to get these horses off the crowded streets of New York City. After all, there had been attempts to end the urban carriage horse trade in the City for years. I said I had read about some promising news in Guadalajara, Mexico that had begun the process of transitioning from horse-drawn carriages to electric “horseless” carriages.
I spoke to my very good and knowledgeable friend, Elizabeth Forel, president of The Coalition for NYC Animals who has been dealing with this issue for decades. I asked her if she would join me on a fact-finding mission to Guadalajara to check out what was going on. We went there in August of that year and were amazed, excited and encouraged by what we found. Guadalajara had succeeded in finding a wonderful solution to this problem that not only preserved and created better-paying jobs, but benefitted everyone involved, including the carriage horses who went to good homes. This experiment proved so successful that it has become a world-wide trend. Cities including Cologne, Dubai, Istanbul, Santo Domingo, Mumbai and others have followed Guadalajara’s lead. Please watch our video narrated by the incomparable Bebe Neuwirth. Filmmaker, Sue Spiegel did a masterful job in telling this story in the most wonderful way – documenting the findings of our trip along with information about the NYC carriage horse trade and how electric carriages could be the answer for New York City.
Elizabeth and I formed The Committee for Compassionate and Responsible Tourism that has its own website, Compassionate & Responsible Tourism, as well as pages on Facebook and Twitter. As most of you know, Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary is home to four former urban carriage horses, the most famous of whom is Bobby II Freedom. The goal of our new committee is to start a serious dialogue in NYC about transitioning from carriage horses to electric carriages. That effort went public earlier this week with an Op Ed published in the Gotham Gazette that Elizabeth and I co-wrote, called, “Just as Other Places Have Done, New York City Can Preserve Jobs and Tradition with Electric ‘Horseless’ Carriages.”
Please take the time to visit the new website and read the information that we have posted thus far. Our main goal is to see urban carriage horses off of busy city streets for good. Perhaps New York will become the first city in the U.S. to make that change? We hope you will share this information, support our efforts and make you voices heard, especially those of you who live in New York and other congested cities around the U.S. that still use horses to give carriage rides.
We’re on a fascinating new journey and hope that you will join us!
President & Founder