Carriage Horses Gain Important Supporter

Yesterday, I attended a press conference at City Hall in support of the Central Park Carriage Horses.  Councilmember Rafael Espinal, Jr. called the press conference to announce his support for the Carriage Horse Industry, the horses and the 300 men and women that work in the trade.  He is the chair of the Consumer Affairs Committee of the City Council, which has oversight over the carriage horses.  He was joined by Stephen Malone, a spokesperson for the Carriage Horse drivers and owners, and Demos Demopoulos, the Secretary/Treasurer of the Teamsters Local 553.

I was proud to stand with them.  Fortunately, since I rarely leave home without a camera, I had my Lumix with me and took a few shots to share on a good day for the carriage horses!

Councilman Rafael Espinal, Jr, Chair of the City Council Consumer Affairs Committee

Councilman Rafael Espinal, Jr, Chair of the City Council Consumer Affairs Committee

The Councilman announces his staunch support for the carriage horse industry, outlines the safety standards in place for the horses and the vital role they play in the tourism industry.

Stephen Malone, Spokesperson and second generation carriage horse owner and driver.

Stephen Malone, Spokesperson and second generation carriage horse owner and driver.

Steve spoke eloquently of how his father emigrated from Ireland, worked as a blacksmith in the NYC carriage horse stables and then became a driver.  Steve has been a carriage horse driver for 26 years.  He talked about how he and his horses were bred to do this work together.  Got to tell Steve that I recently visited Blue Star Equiculture and met Steve’s retired horse Paddy…

Demos P. Demopoulos, Sec/Treasurer of Teamsters Local 553

Demos P. Demopoulos, Sec/Treasurer of Teamsters Local 553

Demos spoke of the carriage horses as a “piece of what makes NY special.”  He also made the point that the stables are open every day for people to visit.

Stephen Malone, Spokesperson for Carriage Horses Industry, Councilman Espinal and Demos P. Demopoulos, Sec/Treas for the Teamsters, Local 553

Stephen Malone, Spokesperson for Carriage Horses Industry, Councilman Espinal and Demos P. Demopoulos, Sec/Treas for the Teamsters, Local 553

It was a good day for working horses, the men and women that work with them and care for them and for all of us who want to continue to have working animals in our midst and in Central Park.  Kudos to Councilman Espinal!

Councilman Rafael Espinal (c) and carriage horse drivers.

Councilman Rafael Espinal (c) and carriage horse drivers.

 

Councilman Espinal and carriage horse driver. A moment of appreciation.

Councilman Espinal and carriage horse driver. A moment of appreciation.

 

Christina Hansen, Carriage Horse Driver

Christina Hansen, Carriage Horse Driver

Christina being interviewed after the press conference.  She is a wonderful spokesperson and advocate for working horses.  I had the pleasure of meeting her today!

Nina Galicheva, Photographer

Nina Galicheva, Photographer

Another highlight was meeting Nina.  She is a wonderful photographer and has been using her camera to tell the story of the horses and drivers, capturing how much they are a part of the fabric and life of our city!  Her photos capture the proud partnership between the drivers and horses, and the joy they bring to so many people visiting and living in our city.

If you would like to help, please reach out to your City Councilman and urge them to support the carriage horses.

 

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