\"Liam

Liam Neeson: hero of New York City carriage drivers. Photo by: Cross Creek Pictures

Liam Neeson slams Mayor de Blasio over shutdown of carriage horses

\"Liam

Liam Neeson: hero of New York City carriage drivers. Photo by: Cross Creek Pictures

“It’s all on his own behalf, you know. He called me and said ‘I want to write a letter, I feel this is borderline criminal.’ And the words he put together are amazing.”

Read them for yourself here:

Dear Mayor de Blasio,

I was appalled to learn of your intent to obliterate one of the most deep rooted icons of our city!

Why would you turn down an invitation to meet with the industry? You are prepared to make this iconoclastic move based purely on hearsay??

The horse drawn carriage industry is an integral part of this city and has been since the early 1860’s. It has been serving New Yorkers and tourists alike for generations. I have heard you declaring it inhumane and not fitting with the fabric of our city. I am compelled to strongly challenge these declarations. These horses are well cared for, provided for and, perhaps, most importantly of all, have a job, in one of the world’s most bucolic settings, Central Park.

We have already lost our riding horses with the closing of Claremont Stables resulting in the riding trail on the West Side lying dormant, all under the guise of “progress”. In actuality, what is happening is our park is being stripped of her connections to the past. To quote Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis... “Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud moments, until there is nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?”

I also find it troubling, Mr. de Blasio, that your campaign promise was to fight for the common man and, yet, with the first stroke of your pen, you are willing to put 300 families on the breadline. These hard working men and women have been very conscientious in maintaining a healthy and safe environment for their beloved horses in an ever changing urban setting. They have succeeded in maintaining an impeccable safety record. There are more health checks now than ever, more vacation time now than ever, there are very stringent laws in place to protect the wellbeing of these animals in this environment.

Your plan to replace these animals with electric cars is incongruous at best, the very last thing our city and our park needs are more cars!! And where will these horses go and the horses to follow that are bred for this? You expect us to believe they will all be put out to pasture?? Why don’t you come to the stables, meet with the business owners and see the conditions first hand?

History teaches us that land grabs can manifest themselves in various ways. We all know the land on which these 4 stables sit is most valuable. Please do not become complicit in this type of practice.

Mayor de Blasio, this is an internationally renowned industry. Tourists come from all over to experience a horse drawn carriage ride through Central Park. The world is watching!

The horse drawn carriages belong to New York, Mr. Mayor. They are not yours to take!

Sincerely,

Liam Neeson

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