Manhattan, NY – An elderly horse named Ryder was forced to pull a carriage on a hot August day in Manhattan. The senior horse, underweight and overheated, collapsed on the pavement and could not get back to his feet for nearly an hour.
On November 15, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., announced charges against the driver who pushed Ryder to collapse on August 10, 2022. DA Bragg is charging 55-year-old Ian McKeever with one count of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals, Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, a class A misdemeanor.
District Attorney Bragg said:
“As alleged, Ryder should not have been working on this hot summer day. Despite his condition, he was out for hours and worked to the point of collapse. All animals deserve to be treated with the utmost care and the type of abuse that Ryder allegedly suffered is unacceptable.”
The press release outlines the despicable manner in which Ryder was treated after collapsing on the street:
At approximately 5:10 p.m., Ryder collapsed on the ground in the middle of the street at West 45th Street and 9th Avenue. MCKEEVER repeatedly tried to force him to stand by pulling on the reins, yelling, and using a whip. At no point did MCKEEVER provide any water to Ryder while he was on the ground, despite the 84-degree weather. MCKEEVER initially kept Ryder attached to the carriage harness while he was lying on the ground. A member of the NYPD eventually removed the harness, allowing Ryder to fully lie down. The police officer then put ice and cold water on Ryder for 45 minutes until he was finally able to stand up.
Ryder had been working in the heat since 9 a.m., collapsing from sheer exhaustion shortly after 5 p.m. A 26-year-old, underweight horse with health problems was forced to pull a carriage full of people all day long in the heat…until he literally fell on the ground in exhaustion.
McKeever lied about Ryder’s age, telling the authorities the horse was 13 years of age when he was actually twice that age – an age when he should have been retired, not forced to work in the heat.
Please add your name to the petition as Animal Victory seeks justice for this abused horse. Ryder’s health was poor and he ultimately had to be euthanized months after his collapse. Profits over animals have no place in society. We want to see Ian McKeever held accountable for his despicable treatment of this elderly horse, and we stand in support of Ryder’s Law, which would ban horse carriages in New York City.
We the undersigned demand that Ian McKeever be held accountable for working Ryder to the point of collapse in the heat. This senior horse was forced to work in unacceptable conditions with no concern for his well-being. We want this man to receive the maximum punishment allowable by law for the charge of Overdriving, Torturing, and Injuring Animals, and Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance. We also stand behind the passage of Ryder’s Law, which will ban horse carriages in New York City. This petition acts as our collective endorsement for Ryder’s Law, and the maximum penalty allowed by law for Ian McKeever.
Individuals are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law. Animal Victory relies upon the authorities and the court system to determine guilt or innocence.
Update 11/27/2023: The first appearance is set for 12/10/2023; the judge is still set as ‘TBD’ and in NY, the DA’s rotate. Whoever is assigned that courtroom will be on the case that day. The DA, Alvin L Bragg Jr. announced they will be prosecuting this case.