Candlelight Vigil for Charlie, Carriage Horse Who Died on 54th St.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Edita Birnkrant, NY Director, Friends of Animals
971.940.2725; email

When: Friday, 28 October 2011, 7pm-8:30pm
Where: Northwest corner of Central Park South (59th Street and Fifth Avenue)

New York City-Win Animal Rights, joined by Friends of Animals and horse advocates from across New York City, will hold a candlelight vigil remembering the horse Charlie, who collapsed and died on West 54 Street Sunday morning, shortly after leaving the Clinton Hill Stables on the way to Central Park. New York State Senator Avella will attend, and speak to the press about his pending legislation which would take the carriage horses off the streets for good, and place them in sanctuaries.

“Forcing horses to lug carriages through the chaotic streets of midtown Manhattan is a nightmare for the horses and a public-safety risk,” said Friends of Animals New York director Edita Birnkrant. “Charlie lived the undignified life of a carriage horse, and this after doing hard labor as an Amish work horse. Death on the street is a fate that will continue to happen to such horses, until New Yorkers say enough is enough.”

Mayor Bloomberg’s callous response to the Wall Street Journal about those who call for a ban? “I have no idea what goes through their minds.”

Said Friends of Animals’ Birnkrant, to the Mayor: “Wake up. Why justify the exploitation even one day longer?”

Charlie, who an inside source said was at least 15 years old, dropped dead just 20 days after being transferred from Amish country to New York City. The Mayor claims horses would be “dead without work” but obviously they might die of it.

Stephen Malone, spokesperson for the Horse and Carriage Association and owner of several horses at Clinton Park Stables, reports that Charlie had been purchased in a Pennsylvania horse auction in August. Charlie’s licensing for use in New York was completed early in October. Last Sunday, the morning of October 23rd, Charlie died two blocks out of the stables.

Malone said the horse’s carriage driver said Charlie “started to sway around 54th Street and then just dropped.” Malone claims “not a clue” as to why Charlie died on the street.

The advocacy groups urge the immediate passage of the legislation pending in the New York State Senate and Assembly, and a City Council bill, Intro 86A, to ban the use of horse-drawn vehicles.

The past few years have seen several carriage horse deaths, car crashes with carriages, and horses bolting on New York City’s streets. Several people have been injured-some seriously. A carriage driver ended up in a coma this past summer, after a startled horse threw the driver and three passengers to the pavement.

A candlelight march to the Clinton Hill Stables is also planned for Friday evening.