In their latest piece for the Village Voice, writer Tracy Basile reports on a gathering at an NYC vigil honoring Ryder the carriage horse – a fallen, misused horse who has become a symbol of why the carriage horse industry needs to be abolished for good. Ryder made national headlines when he collapsed on August 10 whilst being forced to pull a carriage on a busy NYC street on a very hot NYC day. He suffered from muscle atrophy, weakness and severe malnutrition, and was eventually euthanized on October 17, 2022.
“What do we know about him prior to the day he fell to the ground, flat out in distress as his driver and co-owner at the time, Ian McKeever, hit him with the reins, yelling, ‘Get up! Get up!’? How should he be remembered,” asks Basile. “What consequences will the McKeevers face if convicted for their alleged crimes? Will they simply pay a fine? Will the public be kept informed, or will the Transit Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, which represents the carriage industry, try to smooth it over with promises of better treatment and oversight? (This from an industry operating since 1863.) The horses are workers too—doesn’t their situation contradict everything unions stand for, negotiating for workers’ rights and safer working conditions?”
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.