New York City

3 Hurt After Spooked Horse Goes Berserk, Hits Cars: NYPD

What to Know

  • A startled horse bolted down Central Park South on Sunday, smashing into three parked cars before being brought under control
  • An animal rights group said it was the second such incident in recent weeks, but the carriage company said the accidents are rare
  • The three passengers suffered minor injuries; the handler was not injured and the horse was scheduled for a veterinary exam

A horse pulling a carriage near Central Park was spooked by an umbrella and hysterically crashed into three parked cars, police said. 

Three tourists who were in the out-of-control carriage were taken to Cornell Medical Center with minor injuries, according to the NYPD. 

The horse and carriage were stopped at a light at 59th Street and Sixth Avenue, on the south end of Central Park, when a pedestrian opened up an umbrella, police said. 

The startled horse bolted forward and its handler lost control, police said. The horse galloped down the street with the passengers aboard and struck three parked cars before it was contained. Police said the handler was outside the carriage at the time. 

Video from the scene shows the white carriage squeezed between a parked car and a taxi in front of the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Another video shows a white horse with a purple feather on its bridle attached to the carriage. 

Christina Hansen, a spokeswoman for the carriage industry group Historic Horse-Drawn Carriages of Central Park, said in a statement that horses remain the safest form of vehicles in Midtown in terms of collisions per miles traveled. 

“Everyone in the carriage industry works everyday to ensure the safety of our horses, our passengers and the public, and our record speaks for itself,” Hansen said. “That every single accident we have is considered news is a testament to the safety of our industry.”

Hansen said the horse, named Arthur, was returned to his stable via trailer to await a veterinary examination to confirm he was not hurt. 

Animal rights group NYCLASS said it was the second horse accident on Central Park South in the last few weeks. The group demanded the results of the horse's veterinary exam. 

"It is now clearer than ever that the city's antiquated horse carriage rules endanger anyone who visits, lives, or works in New York City," said Edita Birnkrant, executive director of NYCLASS.

The carriage driver wasn't injured and hasn't been charged. 

The investigation is ongoing. 

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