UPDATE: A 14-year-old carriage horse “collapsed” at a busy Midtown intersection, but the carriage driver was in no rush to help the fallen gelding, according to a man who claims to have witnessed and photographed the incident.
But the animal’s caretaker and a city official say the 1,700-pound draft horse named Norman simply “tripped and fell.”
The horse lay on the pavement in the middle of 50th Street and 12th Avenue for more than 20 minutes on Sept. 2 shortly before 2 a.m., according to Bogdan Paul Angheluta.
Angheluta, of Farmingdale, LI, told The Post he was outside nightclub Space Ibiza when he saw a carriage-horse driver “screaming for the horse to make the green light.”
He says the horse then “collapsed” and was “breathing slow and hard.”
“I’m 100 percent positive,” Angheluta told The Post. “He was forcing him to make the light. The horse was tired.”
A police officer in a black SUV arrived and blocked off the intersection, and Angheluta says he then got on his knees and began “cradling the horse’s head and trying to calm him down.”
Some 10 minutes later, he says, “five or six guys came from the stables” with a bucket of water, warned him to “leave the horse alone” and then put something in the horse’s mouth.
Norman, with Christina Hansen at Historic Horse Drawn Carriages fo Central Park.
“I was yelling at them,” Angheluta said. “I was frustrated, angry.”
Once the horse was righted, he says, the cop assured him “there was no need to worry.”
Angheluta last weekend sent his photos to the animal-rights group NYCLASS, which alerted the NYPD, the Mayor’s Office and the Health Department.
“He didn’t collapse, he tripped himself,” said Christina Hansen, a spokeswoman for the carriage industry, who claimed Norman was heading back to the Clinton Park Stables on West 52nd Street at the end of his shift when he fell. “He’s kind of a klutz.”
The Health Department said it “investigated the incident promptly” and a veterinarian examined the horse.
“We found that the horse had tripped and fell,” said Health spokesman Christopher Miller.