Spooked Horse "Oreo" Recovering After Columbus Circle Accident

Oreo the horse is recovering in his stable on the West Side after being spooked on the job at Columbus Circle Thursday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As the horse involved in a scary accident recovers, there are louder calls to ban horse-drawn carriage rides in New York. Tracie Strahan has the story (Published Friday, Aug 17, 2012)

    The 6-year-old carriage horse who broke free from its carriage in midtown Manhattan before it was corralled a couple blocks away is on the mend. 

    Oreo the horse is recovering in his stable on the West Side after being spooked on the job at Columbus Circle Thursday. 

    Carriage Horse Breaks Free Near Central Park

    [NY] Carriage Horse Breaks Free Near Central Park
    Witnesses described the scene as chaos, as a carriage horse bolted, charging through traffic near Central Park Thursday. News 4's Gus Rosendale reports. (Published Friday, Aug 17, 2012)

    Oreo collided with a passenger car and then ran loose for several blocks, separating from his carriage, which had two people in it. No one was seriously hurt.

    "Oreo did exit Columbus Circle at Broadway," said Christina Hansen of the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City. "He made a left at 60th and a left on 9th Avenue, which is the path he takes home everyday. So he was headed back to the stable." 

    The accident has renewed calls from local assemblymen to City Council members for horse-drawn carriage rides to be banned on the streets they now share with traffic. 

    Manhattan resident Frank Burrows, who lives near the scene of Thursday's accident, is surprised horse and vehicle collisions aren't more common. 

    "I have to close my eyes on the bus sometimes because the buses just kind of come this close," said Burrows. "Cars are cutting them off like they're cabs, just to get in the lane. It's a nightmare." 

    Tourists lined up to take a horse carriage ride in Central Park Friday didn't think it was cruel. 

    "They're trained and they're used to it," said Scott Middleton. "If t hey didn't like it, they'd let you know." 

    Mayor Bloomberg said changes to the popular city tradition were unnecessary.

    "It's what makes New York New York," he said on his radio show Friday morning. "We don't ban bicycles and we don't ban automobiles every time there is an accident." 

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