Stephen Malone is a city-slicked John Grady, driving his black and plumed horse in loops around Central Park. After decades in the business, Malone has a relationship with his horse that he finds hard to explain — he knows his horse’s mannerisms and mood, and the beast in turn has adjusted to the rhythm of the city and his owner, moving in sync with traffic lights. Yet Malone’s career may soon be cut short, thanks to New York City’s new mayor.
“We are going to get rid of horse carriages, period,” Bill de Blasio said Monday. “We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape. . . . They are not humane. They are not appropriate for the year 2014. It’s over. So, just watch us do it.”
The city council would have to pass the ban, which would face immediate legal challenge from carriage drivers, many of whom have built their own small businesses with their horses and buggies.