The death of a New York City carriage horse whose story went viral over the summer could now lead to change for other carriage horses in the city.
Ryder, the carriage horse who collapsed in the streets of New York in August, was euthanized on October 17 despite The Gentle Barn, a non-profit animal sanctuary’s plea to allow him to live out the rest of his life at their sanctuary. Now they want to bring help to the area and open a rescue for retired carriage horses.
The Gentle Barn Is Planning To Open A Location In New York
After Ryder’s story went viral in August, many animal organizations and celebrities tried to bring more attention to the situation and find ways to help ensure this doesn’t happen again. The Gentle Barn recently posted some information on their Instagram page about what they are planning to do to help the cause.
“The Gentle Barn is headed to NEW YORK and we need your help! We’re coming to open a new location, rescue animals, and be part of the solution to the horse carriage industry,” the caption begins.
“[Content Warning] Following the collapse of Ryder, an overworked New York carriage horse, our supporters urged us to act. We immediately reached out to offer Ryder rehabilitation and sanctuary for the rest of his life but were met with resistance, and ultimately, the news of his euthanization.”
The caption continued explaining that there are many other stories such as Ryder’s and they hope to stop any more such situations. “There are many horses with stories like Ryder, and it’s only a matter of time before the next one falls. That’s why we are bringing The Gentle Barn to New York– to make sure we are there before it happens.”
The organization has locations in California, Tennesse and Missouri and has helped to save countless animals over their 23 years. A fundraising campaign was started for the retirement home sanctuary that plans to open outside of the city in Westchester, New York.
Ryder’s Story Went Viral In August And People Are Demanding Change
On August 10, Ryder collapsed and was found lying in the road on 45th Street and Ninth Avenue. Videos showed the carriage driver Ian McKeever trying to pull him up off the ground and hitting him while screaming, “Get up! Come on! Get up! Get up!”
Videos circulated on the Internet and started petitions to ban carriage horse rides in New York City. More than two dozen celebrities joined the Animal League Defense Fund to put a stop to horse carriage rides within the city. According to PEOPLE, among the celebrities to sign the letter include Joaquin Phoenix, Billie Eilish, Kesha, Sarah Silverman, Hilary Swank, Marisa Tomei and many others.
As per a release, the letter states, “The now-viral video of Ryder on a New York City street is heartbreaking, infuriating, and disturbing. Ryder, an elderly, emaciated horse, collapsed on 9th Avenue while pulling a carriage. The world bore witness as the carriage driver tried to force Ryder to his feet, while he could barely lift his head. The video is hard to watch for good reason — this is not the way animals should be treated.”
The letter continued, “Ryder is an individual, but his situation is not unique. Tragic outcomes for horses haunt New York City’s history, as well as other cities across the country. Horses, carriage passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and others are put at risk by this cruel and reckless industry. We say: No more.”
PETA is in support of a proposed ban, called Ryder’s Law, on the carriage horse industry. The proposed New York City legislation will “phase out and ban horse-drawn carriages in the city and replace them with horseless, electric carriages,” according to the Animal League Defense Fund‘s website.