Horse-drawn carriages don't belong in New York City, and it's not surprising when accidents happen. So when a 6-year-old Belgian draft horse named Pumpkin spooked and ran wildly into Central Park, pulling an empty carriage before smashing into an open taxicab door, we tallied the accident and breathed a sigh of relief that there were no fatalities or serious injuries. Not yet, anyway.
The carriage trade wasted no time in brushing off the accident, dismissing it as a fluke and characterizing it as an example of "professionalism" and horsemanship. Nothing could be further from the truth -- this accident was a disaster waiting to happen and the competency of the driver should be questioned.
Except within activist circles, that questioning is unlikely to happen. New York City carriage drivers receive very little formal training, and it shows. This accident was particularly upsetting to true "horse people" because a Belgian is large horse breed that typically weighs at least 2,000 pounds. It is very dangerous to be in the path of 2,000-pound carriage horse who is running for his life -- there's very little margin for error. The city must take note of this. Carriage driver incompetency is not an insignificant matter. It's another reason for an outright ban.