NEW: Carriage Horse Found Dead in Midtown: NYCLASS Calls for Transparent Investigation


According to City, Blackjack Likely Suffered From Colic, Which is Caused By Poor Care & Diet


The Adams administration confirmed that a carriage horse named Blackjack was found dead in a Midtown stable earlier this week. According to the city, the Department of Health’s contracted veterinarian was present at the stable (which is unusual), and noted the horse was suffering from colic,” a painful condition that can be avoided by a proper diet, grazing on pasture, and basic veterinary care. NYC horse owner representative Christina Hansen, who has repeatedly misled the media about the condition of horses, previously stated that their “horses don’t colic.” In reality, colic is listed as a common cause of death for NYC carriage horses and Blackjack had apparently not been given a veterinary exam since February 28. 

NYCLASS is calling for a necropsy to determine the cause of this latest horse’s death. 

One year ago last week, Ryder’s collapse was captured on video as carriage owner Ian McKeever mercilessly yanked him, beat him and screamed at the suffering horse to get up in front of horrified onlookers. Footage of the incident went viral and people around the world demanded that NYC's cruel carriage trade transition to cruelty-free and safer electric carriages, yet a full year later New York City Council and Speaker Adrienne Adams have failed to take action to protect horses from the further exploitation and abuse that NYCLASS and others have been regularly documenting.

"The tragic and agonizing death of Blackjack is another harrowing reminder of the horse owner   lobby’s persistent neglect and callous disregard for these animals. The constant lies and PR stunts by TWU Local 100 and abusive carriage owners like Ian McKeever can't hide the fact that carriage horses in New York City are treated miserably. This is not an isolated incident, but a reflection of a profit-driven system that treats horses as expendable commodities. An investigation and necropsy are necessary to determine exactly what happened to Blackjack. Better yet, let's pass Ryder's Law now to ensure a humane transition to electric carriages that will benefit workers and finally end the archaic practice of horse abuse,” said Edita Birnkrant, Executive Director of NYCLASS.

Council Member Robert Holden, lead sponsor of Ryder's Law said: "Once again, we mourn the loss of yet another horse. The continuous deception by the carriage industry about their horses' conditions is evident, with Blackjack and Ryder representing just a fraction of the suffering these animals endure. The call to transition to horseless carriages should have been heeded long ago, and New Yorkers demand an end to this cruelty."

A picture taken of NYCLASS of Blackjack's hooves showing his ID number - 4496, taken in March, 2023.

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