RECAP (w/ pics) of ClipClopNYC, with many thanks :-)
Well, the little idea which germinated here on COTH turned into a SPECTACULAR success!
ClipClopNYC: Weekend with the Carriages was everything we hoped it would be and more. Over 110 horsey-types (lost count after I ran out of nametags at 100 lol) toured our stable and had brunch on Saturday morning, and to a person we got nothing but positive and supportive feedback.
94 people attended our Gala Benefit for Blue Star Equiculture at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Central Park. The energy in that room that night will sustain us for a long time -- an incredibly good time was had by all. We presented BSE with an enlarged, mounted copy of a welcome and congrats letter from Mayor Bloomberg on ClipClop, and read aloud a terrific letter of support from Speaker Christine Quinn. The party continued with carriage rides across the street and an after-party next door at Mickey Mantle's. An absolute perfect night.
Sunday was our public outreach event and press conference at Central Park, as we introduced Paddy, our first official retiree going to Blue Star. The RARAs - although unruly, nasty, and deliberately disruptive - couldn't put a dent in the obvious success of the event. Many ClipClop attendees stated afterward that they had a much clearer idea of what we and our horses must endure from the RARAs having witnessed their lunacy firsthand, and if anything, helped to cement in their support for us.
I have a public FB page up with pics & stories from the weekend....I have lots more to put up, so if you'd like to see, like the page and make sure to watch for updates Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/ClipClopnyc2012
MANY, MANY THANKS to all who traveled to NYC to participate. It was a pleasure in the extreme to host you all, and we are looking forward to seeing you all again at ClipClop 2013!
It was a fantastic weekend, we attended all the activities and events as well as spent Friday being complete tourists in Manhattan. Everyone was VERY nice, from the free hotel room upgrade to our honeymoon suite to everyone we met. This was our first trip to NYC, and my husband has been talking about out experience ever since; we will definitely be coming back. I posted about the stable tours in another thread, so I will leave it at that.
Beautiful horses, beautiful city stables, and absolutely fantastic folks!
Sorry to have been so quiet, but I have been buried in work ever since returning home from this wonderful wekeend in NYC!
I have no personal stake in the carriage horse business, but the issue caught my eye on COTH, and I wanted to learn more about the controversy being created by the Radical Animal Rights Activists in New York.
When I was in NYC right before Christmas, I went over to the carriages and checked them out. The horse all had excellent coats, they were in great weight and they had very good feet. They were relaxed, and seemed happy with their life and job.
I took the NYC carriage folks up on their offer to come to New York the weekend before Easter to meet the owners of these horses, see their stables, and attend a fund raiser for Blue Star Equiculture (rescue and retirement farm in MA). I am so glad I did.
The stables are wonderfully maintained and organized, the horses receive thorough vet care, high quality feed and bedding, and are very, very well loved by all of the owners I met. Not only are these horses not abused, they have better lives than many other horses in this country (e.g., the horse that never gets ridden or exercised by its owner and stands in a stall all day with nothing to do, or the wild horse that is chased by helicopters by the BLM).
I have now seen first-hand the radical fringe that pickets them every Sunday, screaming vile, hateful things at the drivers and the children taking rides with their parents. I truly have never witnessed such ignorance and hatred. They know nothing about horses (complain that they eat off of the ground, think a normal chestnut/ergot is an untreated tumor or sore, etc.), and they have no filter whatsoever.
Anyway - it was a great weekend. I met so many kind, genuine people, and I hope to continue friendships with them. Many thanks to the New York carriage industry for organizing this event, and letting us share in the joy of your beautiful horses.
Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson
I think a lot of visitors were shocked at how much BS the carriage drivers have to put off with from the RARAs. They were especially intent on wrecking ClipClop, but that didn't happen. However, some very scary, crazed people showed up to protest. One was dubbed Meth Man by those visiting, for obvious reasons.
My wife & I were there, it was incredibly awesome. I burned up most of my month's allotment of eloquence already, so I'll be brief:
I have nothing but nice things to say about the horses, the drivers, and the new york carriage industry as a whole. The horses are fit, fat, happy, and sane. The carriages are maintained in pristine working order. The drivers are excellent horsemen.
Some of those RARA's live Nose-to-Crackpipe. Others are capable of comprehending only the carefully crafted words handed to them on a sheet of paper. Still others are jumping on the bandwagon because they want to appear like they actually care about nature. The fact is: They're full of manure. Their "counter-protest" drew at best 25 people out of a city of 3.5 million. They were loud, uncouth, obnoxious; and completely incapable making a reasonable and informed decision based on physical facts presenting themselves 20 feet in front of them.
Either that, or they are completely sane and they just happen to be getting paid to protest and are in it for a paycheck...
By the way, did I mention I thought the protesters were a bunch of Donkey Headwear?
I am so happy to hear this went well and came together as a way to refute the insanity of the Animal Rights lunatics. Every time a celebrity pipes up about a horse issue I want to quiz them extensively about what they actually know.
We have too many useful idiots that can cause damage fronting causes they know nothing about. America's horse owners would do well to form a cohesive group representing us all, crossing breed and discipline lines.
Job well done to all of you who were able to participate!
What a great weekend! Thoroughly enjoyed it, and met lots of great people and knowledgeable horsemen and horsewomen too.
As far as what we can do, if you ever pass a carriage on the street, wave hi to the driver and passengers, and give a thumbs up. Especially in NYC! Customers need to know that carriage rides are approved by the general public. They get too much negative feedback from the RARA's, so positive feedback is very important. No one wants to be preached at, but I did tell my coworkers about the event, and how good the horses looked. A first person account goes a long way to dispute RARA propaganda. A facebook friend of mine posted about 70 pictures, and later next week, I'm going to send the link to a few office friends who were more interested in my fun weekend in NYC.
Anyone who was at the gala at the Ritz Carlton should write a thank you note to the hotel manager. They take a lot of flak from the idiot opposition, so they need suppport from us. If you're going to NYC, consider staying at the Ritz Carlton, and tell them why you chose that hotel. And be sure to take a carriage ride through Central Park. The money you pay for the ride goes to support hard working people who take good care of their horses.
If there is anyone on COTH who has misgivings about the carriage horse industry, I hope they voice their concerns, or ask for more facts. The RARA's don't listen, but there are many people who are neutral, or maybe a bit anti- carriage who could process facts. There was a wealth of information and transparancy for the event. From what I saw, it was hard NOT to be pro-carriage.
Thanks very much to the organizers who worked so hard to put this event together. I'm hoping we can do it again in 2013, and have lots more COTHers there.
Last night on Chelsea Lately, Kathy Najimy was promoting the Anti-carriage side- calling it horse abuse...
I don't post much here on COTH but thought you might like to know
Apparently she was also on NBC earlier talking against the carriage horses. Perhaps the Pro side should do something similar with a major network. It could include interviews with drivers and vets, a tour of the stables, and of course ending with a carriage ride. Showing who the Antis are and what tactics they are using could also be highlighted.
Last edited by crackerjack; Apr. 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM.
The scary thing is that most of these people consider practically anything done with horses to be abusive. Bits are torture devices, working horses is akin to slavery ... I get so frustrated because there are so many horses in need of homes or training in order to find a home, and these idiots are not only trying to take horses out of good, working homes but support legislation to seize them!