The frightened horse was inside the green space near Fifth Avenue and East 60th Street at around 7:40 p.m. Tuesday when it bolted with the carriage in tow, according to police and video of the incident.
It sideswiped a Revel electric car and another vehicle and then became wedged between them — snarling Midtown traffic and frustrating drivers, the footage shows.
PAY ATTENTION: Please Click Here to Follow Us on Facebook
“This horse was terrified and out of control,” said Edita Birnkrant, executive director of the animal rights group NYCLASS. “Accidents like this are going to keep happening until we end the 19th century tradition of carriages.”
Distressing footage shows the panicked horse rearing its head and trying to get away as frustrated drivers honk — agitating it even more.
An ambulance was called to the scene but neither the horse nor the driver were injured, according to police.
But Birnkrant said the animal should have never been allowed to hoof it though Central Park — because the driver was allegedly inexperienced and the horse was likely new to the city.
“We are calling for an investigation and for the horse to be released into a sanctuary,” she said. “We are saying enough is enough. New York City is one of last large cities that still allows this cruel and dangerous practice.”
Marty Irby of Animal Wellness Action called horse and carriage tradition “a recipe for disaster” that’s cruel to horses.
“Horses are are flight animals and they flee away from any danger. This huge city you have tons of noise,” he said. “It”s a recipe for disaster.”
In a statement, he added, “New York Mayor Eric Adams should immediately instruct the NYPD to swiftly investigate this case and revoke the driver’s license until an investigation has been completed. It’s long past time to rid our nation’s largest city of the antiquated use of horse-drawn carriages.”
A spokeswoman for the carriage industry, Christina Hansen, said accidents are infrequent and the practice is humane.
“Every single incident has been in the news because it almost never happens,” she said. “It’s not cruel to the horses… They’re very well taken care of.”
She added, “There’s no reason to ban them.”
Last year, a carriage horse suffered a bloody injury when it crashed into the back of a BMW sedan in Midtown. Another horse injured passengers when it was spooked by an umbrella in 2018.