Recently Georgina Bloomberg, the daughter of NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, and an ambassador for the ASPCA, has entered the fray over the NYC carriage horses, voicing her opinions about the horses in an article in the Wall Street Journal online (http://tinyurl.com/lnspaar), entitled, “Harsh Words From Mayor’s Daughter; Georgina Bloomberg to Expand Role in Improving Animal Welfare”, by Michael Howard Saul; and in an article in the New York Daily News (http://tinyurl.com/mhxqy3b), entitled “Georgina Bloomberg at odds with mayor dad over famed horse carriages in NYC”, by Jennifer Fermino.
While I appreciate Ms. Bloomberg’s passion for the animals of NY, on what authority does she speak about the NYC carriage horses? I find it interesting, and telling, that Ms. Bloomberg feels she is at all qualified to speak to the issue of the NYC carriage horses when she has NEVER visited the stables, even though she has been asked to on multiple occasions. In addition, the safety record of the NYC carriage horses is far, FAR better than Ms. Bloomberg’s own discipline, show jumping.
I suppose that as an ASPCA “ambassador”, and now that her father is not running for re-election, she has to tow the ASPCA-party line, which is anti-carriage. Funny enough, although the ASPCA is anti-carriage and is responsible for the day-to-day inspection of the horses and stables, they have NEVER been able to write a citation for abuse, mistreatment, or cruelty to a carriage horse, even though they have tried awfully hard – just ask Henry Ruiz, NYPD cop-turned-animal-welfare agent for the ASPCA, about the ASPCA’s carriage horse agenda (http://tinyurl.com/dx6kown).
In short, there is nothing “courageous” about Ms. Bloomberg’s attack on an industry of which she is willfully and purposefully ignorant.
A far more eloquent response to Ms. Bloomberg’s attack on the NYC carriage horses has come via Blue Star Equiculture, the official retirement home for the NYC carriage horses (http://tinyurl.com/m5tr5uq):
Dear Ms. Bloomberg,
I read the article written on your position with the NYC carriage horses in the WSJ yesterday (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000…Tabs%3Darticle) and now today in the NY Daily News (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/…icle-1.1393403).
I am writing to you because your particular position on this horse and carriage issue touched me very personally. I am the Director of Blue Star Equiculture. We are the official retirement home for the NYC carriage horses. We are also an equine rescue/sanctuary working on the front lines of the homeless horse crisis with countless other equine rescues and farm owners. We are trying to be of some help to the thousands of horses in need of food, shelter, medical treatment, love and compassion; those who are victims of the economic downturn, or are disabled, or have outlived their keepers, or that are severely abused, neglected and/or abandoned…or who are standing in kill pens waiting for their hellish ride to their even more hellish end.
Most of us (rescues) are underfunded and, consequently, we give all we have, personally. Because we work on this job full-time, 24 hours per day, what we have fiscally is usually not too much. We take on the horses with problems others give up on and we do our best to be of some use to our equine friends. But we know (and you can too, if you talk to those who go to auctions or who work in rescues) that there are unbelievable numbers of horses we cannot save – due to limited space and a glut of these animals, it is impossible for us to be able to help every single one.
This is why I am writing to YOU.
In the aforementioned articles, you say you had ‘heard’ that the horses (of the NYC carriage industry) weren’t always being taken care of, and ‘if’ that were true, then ‘perhaps’ it is time for them to go. Technically, we all share that very same sentiment. The thing is, of course, that the horses ARE being cared for, and by all accounts, you haven’t bothered to come to the stables to properly inform yourself – yet you are making a huge statement against an industry that is, for whatever reason, in the midst of a controversial mayoral race – and at high risk, thanks to the heavily funded campaigns to mislead the public and destroy it.
There are bad apples in every discipline. We all know that is true about any profession: equine or otherwise. Government (and in the carriage industry’s case, Self, in addition to government) regulation usually can weed out those who are at fault and penalize them appropriately. Check out the NYC carriage industry’s record to see the facts – you can research their safety record, as well as any records pertaining to the care and treatment of their animals – and anything else you in which you are interested. Please make your public statements on your findings from that research.
To single out an industry as a whole and purposely try to eliminate it without taking into consideration the facts about its safety record or the care of its horses is wrong. – Wrong in ways that are too many to count. If you pay close attention to the arguments made by those trying to eliminate the carriage industry, you will find a campaign of anthropomorphism, manipulation, rhetoric, and lies. This is not just about politics – this is about destroying the wellbeing of those horses in the industry; by eliminating their homes and those who care for them – not to mention the livelihoods of the families who work with them on a daily basis. This kind of campaign – completely based falsities and presumptions shouldn’t be allowed to happen – not in NYC or anywhere.
In March of 2012 we received a letter from your father, Mayor of NYC, Mr. Bloomberg. It was presented to me as a surprise at our first benefit gala, “Clip Clop NYC 2012.” We raised just over $2000 at that event and while we all were thrilled with the support. But honestly, it hardly touched the hundreds of thousands of dollars that are raised annually to destroy the carriage industry with negative campaigning and lies. Not a single living horse in need is helped by any of that money as far as we can tell….yet hundreds of lives of horses and humans are threatened, not to mention an American tradition and heritage upon which we all owe a great debt.
The cities and farms and roadways of this country were all built with the help of the horse. They have also gone with us to every war we have fought, including the current ones. Horses have earned a place alongside us, to be cared for as cherished members of our community. You cannot say that they do not belong in the city without following that humans do not, as well. If conditions in air quality and traffic are not good for horses, then they are not good for the millions of children, pets and others that live there, either.
Please do some proper investigating on your own. Communicate with those who work in the industry. Visit their stables. Who better to speak for themselves about their work? They are mothers and fathers and daughters and sons and community members and very talented horse men and women. As an equestrian and horsewoman yourself, I have no doubt you will see that immediately.
I was proud to receive that letter from your father and I proudly display it on our farm. He could have said nothing. He could have worried about what all of his anti-carriage or animal activist friends would say or how his opponents would use his support of the carriage industry on his image. Instead, he honored the horses’ rightful place among us culturally as cherished community members doing something good for the city and may it always be so! If you want to help the horses, get the traffic laws enforced! Share the Road, Horses Paved the Way!
You are welcome to visit our farm anytime to get a glimpse at what the working horses in America are facing after everyone in their lives turn their backs on them. We would love to show you around and you will find that the best physically and mentally in our herd are always the retired carriage horses.
I am sure that you are welcome to visit the stables in NYC anytime, too. All you would have to do is ask.
Please do your research – and remember that you are a valued and esteemed person in this country; your words matter. As a lover of horses, we are counting on you to take the time to see for yourself – to understand the importance of the horses’ homes and caretakers in New York, and to prevent further horses to become homeless and vulnerable in this country.
I am hoping that you will contact me and come visit us in the near future.
Many thanks for reading,
Blue Star Equiculture
This is what the letter says:
THE CITY OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
NEW YORK, NY 10007
March 31, 2012
It is a great pleasure to welcome everyone as Blue Star Equiculture and the Horse & Carriage Association of New York City together host the inaugural gala benefit for Blue Star’s Carriage Horse Retirement Program.
The five boroughs drew more than 50 million visitors last year, and every day, many of tour guests enjoy the energy and excitement of our great City while riding in one of Central Park’s famous horse-drawn carriages. New Yorkers are committed to ensuring the continued health and well-being of our horses, and we applaud Blue Star for partnering with HCANYC and raising the funds to provide carriage horses like Paddy with the care they deserve in retirement.
On behalf of New York City, thank you for supporting this important cause, and best wishes for a wonderful weekend and continued success.
Michael R. Bloomberg