Ryder, the carriage horse who collapsed after being flogged and subsequently became a symbol of animal abuse, has died, an animal rights group announced. A video of Ryder sprawled on the ground and being flogged by his carriage driver Ian McKeever surfaced months ago, infuriating animal rights activists.
The carriage driver told police Ryder was 13 years old and had just finished a 7 1/2-hour shift. However, a veterinary exam “determined that the horse was 28-30 years old rather than the aforementioned 13 years old,” according to an NYPD unusual-occurrence report. Days after the incident, Ryder enjoyed his retirement on an upstate farm.
“We are devastated to learn that Ryder has died. His horrific collapse, after years of abuse, inspired tens of thousands of people from across the globe to stand up to carriage horse industry cruelty,” said Edita Birnkrant, executive director of New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets, according to New York Post.
“But make no mistake: this tragedy was not caused by an act of God — Ryder’s death was 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,” Birnkrant added. Ryder’s corpse has now been transferred to Cornell Equine Hospital. A necropsy will determine the cause of death.
The initial diagnosis was that Ryder “was malnourished, underweight and suffers from the equine neurological disorder EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis)”. Recently, the city Health Department recently charged McKeever’s brother and fellow carriage owner Colm McKeever for allegedly falsifying Ryder’s veterinary records. They have been accused of forging documents that changed Ryder’s age from 26 to 13.
Heartbroken social media users mourned Ryder’s death with many saying he did not deserve to die such a painful death. “RIP RYDER The suffering horse who collapsed on the streets of NYC has died after a lifetime of abuse. Ryder deserved to spend his life in a pasture, not on pavement,” one user wrote. “Ryder the elderly carriage horse that collapsed this summer has died. I hope his owner has 49 years of horrible luck. Ryder fly free big guy. You were loved by people who couldn’t help you,” another user said. One wrote, “Ryder has died. Tears for him and other carriage horses growing weaker by the minute because of cruel owners. Shame on the NYC administration for not following up on Ryder’s situation and welfare Shame on this greedy carriage industry Please flood social media.”
“I am saddened but not surprised to hear that Ryder, the carriage horse who collapsed earlier this year and was found to be much older than his documents stated, has died. There was no reason for this poor, elderly horse to be intentionally worked to death on the streets of NYC,” one user wrote, while another said, “Another horse has died at the hands of the abusive carriage industry. It did not have to end this way for Ryder and the many other horses who have been tortured and killed by this industry. The only question now is how much longer will this injustice be allowed?” Another said, “Ryder died because he was a senior & had been worked for all his short, sad life. He collapsed because he was literally dying. Is this loving their horses, illegally working them to death? This is a greedy industry & it needs to be banned.”
Cute Animals Daily Has Chosen Not to Post the Social Media Messages Showing Additional Photos or Videos of the Incident. RIP Ryder.