NYC carriage horse that collapsed in viral video is now retired on farm
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Featured Image Credit: Christian Parker/NBC News/Youtube
A horse that was seemingly flogged by his owner after collapsing in New York is now living out on a farm upstate, the union that represents horse carriage workers has confirmed.
In a video that went viral, the horse collapsed while working in New York City and was then subsequently whipped as the owner attempted to get it to stand once again.
The animal, called Ryder, has been handed over to new owners as he receives treatment for a neurological parasite called Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM, we’ll call it) which enters the system through possum droppings, the Transport Workers’ Union told local media.
Christina Hansen, a representative for the union, said: “The neurological effects of the EPM caused the horse to stumble and fall as the carriage driver is trying to change lanes and turn here on 45th street on the way home.
“And once he was down, he had difficulty getting up again from the neurological symptoms of EPM.”
Now, Ryder is in comfort while he receives medication for the infection, as well as receiving care from the owners of the farm and a veterinarian.
It is believed that Ryder is about 26 years old, and is therefore now too old to be licensed as a carriage horse in the Big Apple.
Ryder came to the public’s consciousness when he collapsed as a result of his illness in the street, before his carriage driver started saying: "Get up! Get up! Get up! C’mon, get up"
However, the animal couldn't move.
After that, he seemed to start whipping the poor creature, who was obviously struggling.
That led to renewed appetite among animal rights activists for there to be further regulation or an end altogether to the popular but controversial tourist attraction.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said: “Horses don’t belong in big cities where they’re put in constant danger because of cars, humans, weather, and more.”
Voters for Animal Rights described the video as ‘horrifying’ at the time.
Hansen continued to say that Ryder was in ‘rough shape’ once he arrived into the programme, having worked in Pennsylvania as a buggy horse before then.
At the minute, reports suggest there are 130 licensed and active carriage horses in New York City.
The Transport Workers’ Union has pledged that the safety protocols at the city’s stables will be changed to include twice weekly assessments of the horses’ heart conditions, while they have agreed to form a committee dedicated to health and safety.
If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, contact the RSPCA's 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice