Rally for Ryder: Advocates show support for fallen carriage horse as owner makes NYC court appearance

The case gained widespread attention in Aug. 2022 when a video showing Ryder collapsed on the street went viral.

Edric Robinson

Apr 2, 2024, 10:59 PM

Updated 10 days ago

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Animal advocates gathered outside Manhattan Criminal Court in a show of support for Ryder, the carriage horse at the center of a recent animal cruelty case. The rally coincided with the court appearance of Ryder's owner, Ian McKeever, who faces charges related to the mistreatment of the horse.
"No excuse for horse abuse, ban horse carriages," exclaimed protesters, echoing the sentiments of many advocating for the shutdown of the horse carriage business.
"There are over a hundred other horses that are suffering, that are pounding the pavement in dangerous, cruel conditions that are sick and unwell just like Ryder," said Edita Birnkrant, executive director of NYCLASS.
The case gained widespread attention in Aug. 2022 when a video showing Ryder collapsed on the street went viral. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg subsequently announced charges against McKeever, citing overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, along with failure to provide proper sustenance.
"Ryder was a 26-year-old horse, the equivalent of an 85-year-old human who had untreated cancer and other ailments," said Birnkrant.
Advocates are not only seeking justice for Ryder but also calling on the New York City Council to take action. They want these carriages gone.
“New York City is no place for a horse. Midtown Manhattan - there’s no pasture...We’ve seen so many crashes, horses collapsing and horses dropping dead,” said Birnkrant.
Birnkrant disclosed ongoing legislative efforts, mentioning a bill named Intro 573, or Ryder’s Law, drafted in 2022. "We need to pass this. This is the only way we’re going to shut this thing down," she urged, calling on all New Yorkers to support the cause.
A judge has set the criminal trial date for Ian McKeever to begin on April 23. Advocates vow to continue their advocacy efforts, promising to return to Manhattan Court on that day.


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