CHICAGO (CBS) — The owner of a Chicago horse and carriage business is blasting a New York City effort to end urban horse rides all together, reports WBBM’s John Cody.
New York’s new Mayor Bill de Blasio says flatly, “It’s over. Horse carriage rides are not humane.”
Chicago carriage operator Jim Rodgers says flatly — not so. He says his horses are well treated, better than in the wild and actually seem to enjoy what they’re doing. He says they have occasionally left to go to work without the driver.
“Anxious to go. A lot of them love it. It is what they were bred to do,” said Rodgers.
Rodgers of Chicago’s Great Lakes Carriage Rides pitches the New York carriage ban as a land grab to turn stables into hi-rises.
De Blasio has proposed replacing New York’s horse drawn carriages with antique looking battery powered electric cars.
Rogers argues that totally eliminates the charm which he says is the horse, not the ride. He says the battery powered cars are nothing but golf carts and have no tourism value whatsoever.
He says there are local carriage opponents but he hasn’t seen any serious concerted effort to get rid of the horse drawn carriages here in Chicago.