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Liam Neeson to Tour N.Y. Carriage Horse Stables

    March 9, 2014
    Kimberly Ripley
    Comments are off for this post.

Liam Neeson will visit the stables of New York carriage horses on Sunday, along with several city council members. Neeson is against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to do away with the horses that are frequently seen towing passengers enjoying leisurely rides through Central Park.

De Blasio said throughout his entire mayoral campaign that he would ban the carriages if he was elected. He wholeheartedly believes that the practice of carriage rides is outdated and cruel to the animals. The mayor also plans to tour the Clinton Park horse stables at some point in the near future, but he says his mind is made up no matter what.

“I respect Liam Neeson a lot. I’m a big fan of his work. But the fact is I’ve put forward a plan and a vision, and the people ratified it in a election, and that’s what mattered most,” de Blasio said during an interview on Saturday. “What we do want to do, and we’ve said this repeatedly, is work with the carriage operators to find a good path for them individually going forward. Other job opportunities for them. They would get first dibs on those job opportunities. We have to put together all the pieces.”

It seems only about a dozen of the 51 New York City Council members agreed to tour the stables on Sunday with Liam Neeson. While the Taken actor’s idea of saving the carriage horses and the iconic New York City tradition is one many people would no doubt love to see come to fruition, it seems the mayor has made up his mind. And without the backing of way more than a dozen or so city council members it doesn’t sound like there’s a prayer of changing his plan. de Blasio even wants to replace the horses with electric cars.

A Sioux nation chief spoke out against Mayor de Blasio’s plan back in November, saying he believes the horses belong beside the people they have long served.

Do you think Mayor Bill de Blasio is right in wanting the horse drawn carriages in New York banned? Or do you think Liam Neeson and the few who likely back up his feelings on the matter deserve more of a forum before the decision becomes set in stone and a New York tradition is replaced with electric cars?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • lucym

    Tell that stupid Irish actor to stay out of our fight to save horses from the stench and accidents of zNYC. The stables may have looked good, but the work is cruel. Let him spend all day breathing exhaust fumes.

    • Jacadilly

      Exactly!!!!!!! I completely agree! He talks about its long standing history well guess what having horses strung out in a high streamed traffic area nonetheless consistently being nearly missed each time by cars is not traditional. Wake up people and Neeson! He doesn’t even live here!

      • Migalouch

        He actually does and has lived in NYC for about 20 years.

    • Sarah_VMD

      The work is not cruel-in fact a lot easier than many other horses in other disciplines. If you are a New Yorker you breath the same fumes. If you understood anything about horse behavior you’d be able to see they are content and not stressed.

      • lucym

        I am beyond shocked that a VMD would say that. They get hit by cars, have their noses by the exhaust, they have to go two miles from the stables in horrific traffic. And just because human beings, by choice, breathe that air does not mean an animal should be forced to.

        • Sarah_VMD

          Lucy,
          Get your facts straight, not just parroting the party line. NO horses have been hit by cars in recent years, ONE bolted in the past couple of years and ran into a few-no major injuries. Why do you think they keep using the same three horse examples over and over? There are no others! The air quality in NYC is actually pretty good for a city, and if you had ever stood next to a horse you’d know their noses (when not dozing) are at or above ours-not stuffed up a tail pipe. And two miles at a walk (or even slow trot, which is all they do) is just a warm up for these athletes!

          • lucym

            I appreciate your discussion with me. I have no worry about the walking or trotting of the horses. I am sure they are we fed too, but how about a compromise of just Central Park if there are no buses. I would also like a history of their lifespans and what they die of.

  • LeeG

    DiBlasio is an idiot – he just wants to give over the prime real estate of the city’s horse stables to the developers who gave him $$$ to back him in the mayoral race. Liam Neeson is right, the carriages have always been here, the horses are well treated and they are part of our history in NY.

    • Migalouch

      Exactly, this is all about paying back De Blasio’s doners and has nothing to do with the horses conditions and/or safety. He got a big check from some people that want the land associated with the stables so hes going to give them that land. That is ALL politics is nowadays, payoffs and corruption. At least Bloomberg has so much money that he wasn’t as beholden to his donors as De Blasio. De Blasio would have sold his kidney if it got him office and he basically did, just watch out this is the first of a LOT of kickbacks and payoffs for the people that donated to his campaign.

  • Sarah_VMD

    The horses are neither abused nor distressed-and are content with their lives in NYC, unlike, apparently so many who want them banned. There is absolutely no reason to grab them from their legal, caring owners and kill a vibrant, productive industry than the almighty $$ land grab and bogus animal rights agendas.

    • lucym

      Uh-I would be careful when you talk about making money. Who is making money from the use of these horses?

      • Sarah_VMD

        Only their owners to buy the feed and care necessary for their horses and to support their families! It is known as working for a living. These are working class people-not the idle rich with more time and money than 90% of us. And not to line the pockets of real estate moguls or lawyers and lobbyists for animal rights groups spreading lies and distortions.

  • Sarah_VMD

    Just noticed the comment “few who support” Liam Neeson’s position. In several INDEPENDENT (Not solicited by the NYClass or Animal rights groups) surveys over 60% of the respondents voted to keep the carriages! and at least !0% said they did not know or care. Perhaps why the mayor is backpedaling a bit on the issue. Votes count!

    • lucym

      And that makes this okay? Because people want what they want with no regard to the animals? Just because you say it is not as bad as some things horses are forced to do does not make it right. The owners can keep the horses or find some other kind of work-like driving the antique cars.

      • Sarah_VMD

        Again, get your facts straight-the proposal is to ILLEGALLY take the horses from their owners and supposedly put them on as yet to be identified rescue farms (Most of which are already over crowded with horses that really DO need rescuing!). Under the proposed (NOT yet passed law) the owners could NOT keep their horses! I personally would MUCH rather ride or drive a horse, in partnership with the living, breathing animal I care for for, than drive a car that has no personality or “soul”.

        • lucym

          I understand what you are saying, but it isn’t about us. It is about the welfare of the horses. I am sure the owners could visit their horses and be hired on farms they go to. How about a compromise of just having them in Central Park? When Liam Neeson said that the carriages were around since George Washington, I thought, “There were no cars and buses then!”
          Honestly, would you let a horse of yours be a NYC carriage horse? We also know what happens at race tracks, dressage, Tennessee Walkers etc. it isn’t nice.
          Finally, would you approve of diving horses or bullfight horses just because someone owns them?

          • Sarah_VMD

            You are all knowing and all wise, apparently. The royal “we” assume is your animal rights activists group. No use arguing with you, Your vague threats against other equine groups do not go un-noticed. Your agenda is to eliminate all horse use. But yes-actually my husband’s horse has the right size (Belgian cross) and temperament (Placid-loves to stand around and get treats) for a carriage horse and, god forbid we should ever have to rehome him, I WOULD consider placing him with a carriage driver.

          • lucym

            I could say exactly the same about you, but I am not thinking of myself. I made no threats to anyone. I am not against horses as companions at all and I see you would not consider my compromise idea. Good luck!

          • Sarah_VMD

            The compromise of having them in Central park was missed-sorry. Yes, It would indeed be lovely if the groups that are trying to drive them out of the city would spend the millions they are spending in false propaganda on getting a nice ten acre spot in Central Park and putting up a nice new barn for them. Win-Win for everyone. But it is not going to happen.

            Horses are NOT companion animals-they do not sleep in your house or sit on your lap to watch TV. They are large, agricultural animals that are bred and trained to work with and for humans. Most of us horse owners, which you obviously are not, view them as partners in a dance, with needs that need to be attended to, and yes, some well deserved pampering, but still with a job to do.

          • lucym

            An animal does not have to sit on your lap or be inside to be your companion. Horses give therapy, affection and are loved by many people. Calling them agriculture animals is for the Amish and is just a label put on by the Ag department so they don’t have to be as protected as dogs and cats. So that cruelty can go unpunished. Why would anyone condemn those of us who are simply feeling compassion for other species? Why would we be the bad guys? It is so strange to me. Is it because some folks are afraid of losing their income from the exploitation of animals? And it is exploitation.

          • Sarah_VMD

            No-again Lucy, you do not have the facts, only the stock phrases. The agricultural label is NOT for the Amish-nor is it recognized by the USDA for horses. If it were, they would have MORE federal protection against abuse than pet cats or dogs. The only horses with federal protection (above the laws against animal abuse in general) at this time are the gaited horses and BLM mustangs. We in the industry insist on the label to differentiate from the overly emotional issues of pets having the same rights (assuming higher reasoning and thought) as humans and recognizing that horses do NOT have the same needs, desires, etc as you do!.

            According to the dictionary:

            Exploitation is the use of someone or something in an unjust or cruel manner.

            The horses are being used in neither a cruel nor unjust manner!

          • lucym

            Well, Sarah, we will never agree and I bet you are a good person and help animals every day of your life, but my empathy, I think, is one of the finer qualities someone can have.

          • Sarah_VMD

            Your “empathy” is based on? Mine is 56 years of living, breathing, caring for horses of a wide variety of disciplines and conditions.

          • lucym

            I have lived 70 years. I know it is wrong to force someone to do something they would rather not do. If the horses had a choice would they prefer NYC or a pasture in the country? No, they can not free roam, but if we can get them away from the noise, the fumes and a possible accident, why not?