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Official retirement home for NY carriage horses revealed

Carriage horses in New YorkNew York’s carriage horses now have an official retirement venue, in Massachusetts.

The Horse and Carriage Association of New York City is planning a gala event to raise money for the retirement facility as part of its first annual “ClipClopNYC: Weekend with the Carriages”, from March 30 to April 1.

Equestrians from a dozen states are expected in Manhattan for the event, to support and learn more about the lives of New York City’s carriage horses.

Free events include  “Brunch at the Barn”, a meet and greet brunch and stable tour with industry veterinarians, farriers, teamsters representatives and others; Central Park carriage rides; and an informational media event at the carriage line at Central Park.

The association will also officially announce its partnership with Blue Star Equiculture, of Palmer, Massachusetts, as the official retirement venue for New York’s carriage horses, and introduce to the press the association’s first equine retiree bound for Blue Star.

On Saturday evening, the carriage industry’s first gala benefit for Blue Star will take place in the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Central Park South.  All ticket proceeds from the three-hour cocktail party will go to Blue Star to support retired carriage horses.

Association president and ClipClopNYC event co-ordinator Eva Hughes said the idea came about online for an event that would bring together equestrians of all disciplines to learn about and support the carriage industry.

The association, which represents 64 of the 68 licensed carriages in New York, expects equestrians from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, and Wisconsin, in addition to local horse people from Brooklyn, Staten Island, Long Island, and upstate New York.

Local equine associations and professionals plus riding and driving clubs have been invited, including members of the New York State Horse Council.

Among those attending will be the directors and a dozen volunteers from Blue Star Equiculture.  Blue Star’s executive director and co-founder, Pamela Rickenbach, says the organization is proud to be the official retirement home for the famous Central Park carriage horses.

“The NYC carriage horses are very much loved and respected by their owners and drivers. It’s crucial for the entire horse industry that we preserve the ancient partnership between horses and humans.”

To participate in ClipClopNYC, to purchase tickets for the gala benefit for Blue Star Equiculture, or to sponsor the event, visit www.clipclopnyc.com or contact the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City at nyccarriages@gmail.com

Blue Star’s website is at www.equiculture.org.

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  1. Mrs. H.B. Willis says:

    This is an excellent idea, and one that can be replicated so that carriage and working horses from cities, towns and farms throughout the country- and acually the world – can be retired at farms where those caring for them understand the nature of working horses. Horses that have spent most of their lives on the job with people usually are not content to be turned out to pastures removed from human companionship and left idle.

    Just as the NYC carriage horses now have an official retirement farm at Blue Star Equiculture where their owners can choose to retire them, it would be great if there were more farms like this throughout the country where working and carriage horses could retire close to where they worked. This would emiminate the need for costly transport to faraway retirement farms, and keep horses in the areas and climates they are used to in most cases.

    It would be wonderful if retirement farms that allow those working horses (and mules) still able and willing to work to do so were to be developed where ever there is a need. All of the heavy horse breeds and most working mules enjoy working in harness as long as they are fit and able. Those whose age or infirmity precludes further work, could still find a place to live out their lives in comfort with regular care.

    Retirement farms where the workload is tailored to their abilities and ages would allow former carriage and working horses to contribute to their own upkeep while teaching people interested in learning how to work with horses in harness.

    Horses are a perfect choice to provide power for working organic farms and small self-sustaining farms as well. Retired “daily-driver” carriage horses make excellent, reliable horses for wedding and special events liveries, wehre the work is lighter. With more people able to learn how to care for, harness and handle working horses, more of them could go on to “second” careers after their time as city carriage horses or heavy-use farm horses has passed.

    I hope this first gala event fundraiser sponsored by the HCANYC for its retirement farm Blue Star Equiculture is a great success — and is just the first of many such events.

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