Photos of a New York City carriage horse that collapsed on the street while carrying passengers are drawing controversy.
The photos were captured by a passerby in Central Park on Feb. 21, the Daily Mail reported. They show a carriage horse collapsed on the ground, lying on its side.
Anti-carriage group NYCLASS is using the pictures as their latest evidence that carriage horses are being mistreated in New York City.
"Horses don't just collapse. Something happened -- and the city should get to the bottom of it and make sure it never happens again," NYCLASS spokesperson John Collins said in a press release. "They should conduct an immediate investigation into the health and whereabouts of this horse, including allowing an independent vet to examine the animal."
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But Driver Chris Amanus said the incident was not as bad as the photos made it out to be. Amanus said the horse had just returned from spending eight months at a farm upstate, and that the horse had just had its shoes replaced.
"He tripped. His foot got stuck on a little crack on the pavement. He went down," Emanus told the New York Daily News. "That happens all the time with horses. With new shoes, sometimes they're not comfortable."
Emanus added that the horse, whose name is Max, was able to get up on his own after falling and being unhitched from the trailer. He said he took Max to his stable, and that a veterinarian found no injuries.
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"He had no scratches, no nothing," Emanus said. "I've been doing this for 20 years. I'm one person who doesn't take any chances with my horses, none whatsoever."
Max went back to work on Feb. 27 after blood tests came back negative.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was once an ally of NYCLASS, had vowed to ban horse carriages, but his case did not go past City Council, according to the New York Daily News.