New York City carriage horse euthanized after collapsing in Central Park

MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- A 12-year-old mare had to be euthanized Saturday evening following an acute medical emergency, according to the Historic Horse-Drawn Carriages of Central Park.

The horse showed sudden signs of distress around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday in Central Park after doing a single ride and then waiting for approximately an hour and a half at the 7th Ave carriage stand.

Historic Horse-Drawn Carriages of Central Park's vet and their emergency horse trailer were called immediately, and the horse unhitched and unharnessed. She progressively and rapidly weakened in her hind end and unexpectedly collapsed.

Horse officials say the trailer arrived within 10 minutes of the call and, since the horse could not stand, she was slid into the trailer, following large animal rescue protocols, and returned to her stable on 52nd St.

Her regular vet was able to begin assessment and treatment within an hour, according to horse officials. Unfortunately, she was never able to stand, apparently due to cardiac insufficiency in her hind end, and her owner, in consultation with the vet, made the difficult decision to put her to sleep.

Lab work is still pending, but ultimately a cardiac event is suspected.

"Medical emergencies can happen to the healthiest horses, receiving the best, highly-regulated care," the Historic Horse-Drawn Carriages of Central Park said in a statement.

Horse officials say the medical emergency appears to be something that could happen to any horse, any time, anywhere, for any number of reasons, under a wide variety of conditions.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also shared his thoughts on the incident.

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