Horse Hauler’s Nightmare in New York City

If you own a truck and trailer, what’s your worst nightmare?

Right. The floor will give out. Or a rambunctious horse will kick right through the wall. Or, my favorite, the ramp will fly open. I know for some of you, it’s The Hitch Will Let Go One of These Days. And let’s not forget that one about the semi behind you losing its brakes as you head down a long hill.

If you have ever driven a car or a truck or anything eastbound across Manhattan’s George Washington Bridge, what’s your worst nightmare?

Right. That you will make it to the other side, only to break down on the elevated Cross Bronx Parkway. New Jersey, behind you on I-95, looks like paradise compared to this three-lane, litter-strewn, pot-holed stretch of highway that is perpetually under construction and walled with miles of yellow traffic barrels. Connecticut or Long Island beckons ahead of you, depending on your destination, but you have to cross through No Man’s Land to get there.

Before you see that “Welcome to Connecticut” sign, you have to dodge the pot holes and hubcaps in the road, all without veering out of your lane. Tough to do if you are hauling a trailer.

Now imagine for a minute that you are driving your car home from work on that highway tonight. You are following a big horse van. Lots of horses live in metro New York, and there are horses going back and forth between Belmont and Meadowlands and Yonkers raceways and the farms in New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, and Upstate New York. so there’s nothing that unusual about seeing a trailer up there, even in February.

You’re listening to the radio, minding your own business. Then you see it, dangling out of the trailer ahead of you.

It looks like a horse’s leg. It is. Flash your lights. Honk your horn. Get the truck to stop. You’re way up high, above the rooftops. Somebody, call for a vet.

It happened today. A horse put his leg through the floor of a horse van way up high on the Cross Bronx Parkway. (I never did understand the “Park” part.) Traffic that was already snarled became more snarled. The television traffic helicopters had something to report, that’s for sure. They were the only ones who could see what was going on.

Somehow, a vet, a transfer van, and the ASPCA got up there during rush hour.

Latest reports are that the horse was taken to Belmont Park and euthanized there. Three other horses on the trailer were uninjured.

Film at eleven, no doubt. (You can see a clip on the local ABC affiliate.)

WNBC has a slide show of the incident.

Post script: The New York Times has a good article with interviews with the veterinarian and trainer.

Photo from the New York Times story.




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