NYC Carriage Industry Open House To Feature More Stables, More Attendees
NEW YORK, (HCANYC) – Horse enthusiasts from across the country are again coming to the Big Apple to spend a weekend with New York City’s iconic carriage horses, at the 2nd annual ClipClopNYC – Weekend with the Carriage Horses, March 22-24.
“We’ve been impressed with the interest we’ve had again this year in coming to our stables and seeing how we operate,” said Christina Hansen of the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City, which hosts the ClipClop event. ClipClop is sponsored by Mane ‘N’ Tail and supported by the Carriage Operators of North America and Teamsters Local 553. “Last year, the ‘carriage horse issue’ had been in the media and all over the internet, so it was unsurprising that at our first event we had a big and enthusiastic crowd, but this year, despite things being quieter and less eventful, we’re going to have even more people in attendance. It just demonstrates the interest people have in what we do in this iconic business,” says Hansen. When all is said and done, there could be close to 200 visitors at the stables on Saturday, March 23.
This year’s event will feature stable tours of both Clinton Park Stable and West Side Livery. Last year’s event was limited to only Clinton Park Stable. “We added West Side Livery, the second largest carriage stable – and one of the oldest – because we want people to see the similarities in the way horses live across the industry, regardless of which stable they’re housed in,” Hansen says. “Between the two stables, ClipCloppers will see where three-quarters of the carriage horses live; and how they live is consistent across all four carriage stables.”
Tours of the stables are free, and lunch will be provided. Registration is required, however.
Saturday night at ClipClop will feature a gala fundraiser at the famous Rosie O’Grady’s in Midtown to benefit Blue Star Equiculture, a 501c3 non-profit draft horse sanctuary and working-horse advocacy organization in Palmer, MA. Blue Star was honored last year at the inaugural ClipClopNYC with a fundraiser at the Ritz Carlton, which kicked off Blue Star Equiculture’s carriage horse retirement program in partnership with the Horse and Carriage Association. This year’s Gala Fundraiser is a four-hour cocktail reception, with a silent auction. Tickets are $150, with $75 going directly to Blue Star Equiculture.
“We have this really first-rate partnership with Blue Star Equiculture,” says Hansen. “Blue Star Equiculture understands the industry and the challenges it faces from people who don’t understand the industry. Because Blue Star has a very strong educational mission, in training the next generation of teamsters for working with equine partners on the farm or in the city, we couldn’t think of a better organization to support as we bring in horse people to our city to educate them about our business.”
Last year at ClipClop, Horse and Carriage Association President, Stephen Malone, retired Paddy, his co-worker for 12 years, to Blue Star Equiculture. Paddy was the first official retiree of the NYC carriage horse retirement program. Since then, several more NYC carriage horses have retired to Blue Star Equiculture and have found adoptive homes. Paddy continues to serve as an ambassador for carriage horses and working horses everywhere; he keeps active in retirement teaching beginners how to harness and drive a horse.
“People are always saying they want to ‘help’ the NYC carriage horses,” says Hansen. “Well, our horses don’t need help while they’re working in New York! They have 24-hour-a-day stablemen and amenities most horses never get! But they have our help when they’re ready to retire, and we do need help counteracting the misinformation that the animal-liberationists have put out about our industry. So ClipClop is a great opportunity for people who actually want to help the carriage horses in a meaningful way. You can take a stable tour and become a voice for the truth about how the horses live, so their homes aren’t taken away by people who don’t know what a good home is for a horse. You can come to the Gala and support carriage horses in retirement and the good work that Blue Star Equiculture does advocating for the continued and expanded use of horses in our communities. That’s helping carriage horses.”
One group of people the Horse and Carriage Association would like to truly help horses? New York’s City Council. “They’ve been invited,” says Hansen. “In fact, our doors are always open, but we would love for city councilmembers to come tour the stables and meet and mingle with the folks that are coming out to see our horses – the Pony Clubbers, the representatives from CONA, the horse people from across the country, and our local neighbors who just want to know more about the carriage horses they know and love.”
ClipClopNYC grew as response to the rampant misinformation put forth by animal-rights anti-carriage-horse groups. Equestrians, notably those on the Chronicle of the Horse forums, wanted to do something to 1) verify for themselves that the carriage horses of New York City receive excellent care and 2) serve as expert ambassadors to the rest of the public to educate them about New York’s amazing working horses.
Horse people of all disciplines are invited to attend and get an opportunity to tour the carriage stables and find out what it really takes to work with a horse in Central Park. Hansen explains, “We figure that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then being here and meeting our drivers, our vets, our farriers, our stable managers, and of course our horses is worth a million!”
For more information, to register for stable tours, or to purchase gala tickets to support carriage horse retirement at Blue Star Equiculture, please visit www.clipclopnyc.com
To learn more about the fine work Blue Star Equiculture does, visit www.equiculture.org