Ryder, the carriage horse who collapsed on a Manhattan street at the end of 10th August 2022, has been put down due to a series of ongoing illnesses. According to the Transport Workers Union Local 100n, the Equine Rescue Resource, Inc., The Sanctuary at Maple Hill Farms, Inc. and the Unbridled Heroes Project, Ryder was recently humanely euthanised at the private residence he had been relocated to due to ongoing medical conditions and age.
After the collapse at the intersection between 45th St. and Ninth Ave (an event which was recorded on video that became viral on social media), a veterinarian issued a preliminary diagnosis of EPM, or Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, a parasitical disease. According to the New York Times, Ryder had been steadily losing weight, ultimately collapsing and suffering a seizure before his being euthanised.
According to New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets (NYCLASS), Ryder’s former owner, Ian McKeever, is currently under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for animal abuse, as they claim McKeever, along with his brother Colm, allegedly forged veterinary documents that changed Ryder’s age to 13 years old. Only after the horse was transferred into the care of Cornell Equine Hospital, veterinarians determined his true age of 26.
Ryder’s death will renew calls to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city, which at least 71% of New Yorkers want them banned. Celebrities like Kaley Cuoco and Billie Eilish signed an open letter through the Animal Legal Defense Fund supporting the campaign. The letter said, “this is not the way animals should be treated. 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.“