“De Facto Ban”: Stable Manager Speaks Out Against Horse Carriage Bill


To: Transportation Committee, CM Ydanis Rodriguez, chair; Councilmembers Daniel Garodnick, James Vacca, Margaret Chin, Stephen Levin, Deborah Rose, James Van Bramer, David Greenfield, Costa Constantinides, Carlos Menchaca, I. Daneek Miller, Antonio Reynoso, Donovan Richards
cc: New York City Council, Teamsters Joint Council 16

January 30, 2016

Councilmembers of the Transportation Committee:

The fifteen partners of Clinton Park Stables Associates, LLC, the co-op that runs Clinton Park Stables on W. 52nd St., would like to reiterate our opposition to Int. 573B, as I testified to your committee on Friday, January 22nd.

As I testified, Clinton Park Stables is the largest of four stables serving the NYC carriage industry. We have done nothing wrong; the people keeping their horses in our stables have done nothing wrong. Our stables provide good living conditions for horses who have good homes and good owners. Those horses in turn provide a living for their owners, their drivers and themselves.

Putting food on the table, paying rents and mortgages, paying the bills: these are all very real concerns for everyday working New Yorkers, such as the people in the NYC carriage industry.

We have a mortgage of approximately $25,000 / month on our building. If the proposed legislation is passed without modification, beginning December 1, 2016, our stable will lose $55,000 / month in stall rental income from the reduction in horses and shifts imposed upon us by the city. This is simply not sustainable. We won’t be able to pay our mortgage. Counsel for the Parks Department, Alessandro Olivieri, testified to your committee that these building projects typically take 3 to 4 years to complete, long past the target date of October 2018 in the bill. Even if the Central Park stable project runs on time, Clinton Park Stables will not be able to stay open until October 2018.

If our stable is forced to close due to these proposed premature cutbacks, 39 carriage license holders will have no place to keep their horses and carriages, and they, too, will go out of business.

This problem faces the three other stables housing carriage horses as well.

Int. 573B, with its proposed timeline of cuts, is a de facto bill to ban horse-drawn carriages. It will drive the existing stables out of business before a new stable is ever built.

Please vote “no” on Int. 573B.


Conor McHugh
Stable manager, Clinton Park Stables
Managing Partner, Clinton Park Stables Associates, LLC


About Author

Christina Hansen is a New York City carriage driver and a spokesperson for the carriage industry. She is a proud member of Teamsters Local 553.

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