A carriage horse who gained national attention afterin the middle of a New York City street in August has died, the sanctuary that took him in announced.
The Sanctuary at Maple Hill Farms said in a joint news release with other nonprofits on Monday that the horse named Ryder was “recently euthanized due to his medical conditions and age.”
The sanctuary said after they took him in, Ryder was taken to a farm outside New York City. His new owner took him to veterinarians and eventually brought him to Cornell Equine Hospital in Elmont, New York, where he “spent many days,” according to the sanctuary.
He was diagnosed with “serious medical conditions” that required him to be euthanized, the organization said. His necropsy is currently being performed at Cornell.
“While Ryder is no longer with us, we find some comfort in knowing that Ryder’s NEW OWNER provided him the best possible care, utmost attention and long-needed love that he so deserved. Ryder’s NEW OWNER and many others involved are devastated by his loss,” the sanctuary said.
In a statement to CBS News, Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents the city’s 300 horse-carriage drivers and owners, including Ryder’s former driver, said on Tuesday its new owner indicated the horse was believed to have had cancer.
“Ryder appeared in good health in April when he arrived in the city and passed a mandatory physical exam. He then lost weight rapidly during the late summer. He should have been sidelined then and checked by an equine veterinarian,” the union said.
In August, videos on social media showed Ryder lying on the ground in the middle of a street in Manhattan during rush hour as police doused the animal with water. One clip showed a carriage driver whipping Ryder with the reins and then smacking the horse.
“This was an isolated incident involving one driver and one horse out of 200,” TWU Local 100 claimed. “It absolutely is not representative of the entire horse-carriage industry or the high standards to which we are committed.”
Ryder’s death reignited calls from animal rights organizations to ban horse carriages in New York City. NYCLASS called the horse’s death “the result of savage cruelty and greed.”
“To make a profit, the horse carriage industry would have literally worked Ryder to death if it weren’t for viral videos and the people who exposed their endless lies and cover ups. Their mistreatment of Ryder is the reason he is dead two months later,” Edita Birnkrant, executive director of NYCLASS, said on Monday.
TWU Local 100 said they’ve enacted several changes in the wake of Ryder’s incident. They said they formed a safety committee, brought in a new veterinary practice to visit stables every two weeks and organized the first of several horse-health clinics for drivers that would be conducted by an equine veterinarian.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office told CBS News on Tuesday it is still conducting an animal abuse investigation into Ryder’s collapse.