The Department of Parks and Recreation has suspended operations at a stable being run by the Federation of Black Cowboys in Howard Beach.
Cedar Lane Stables, located in Tudor Park in Howard Beach, could be closed for six months or longer as the city investigates the deaths of six horses at the site since last summer and works with the Federation of Black Cowboys to improve some of the physical conditions at the stables.
In a statement issued by the Parks Department, spokesman Philip Abramson said the federation has operated Cedar Lane Stables under a license agreement with the city since 1998.
The federation was permitted to lease space out to horse owners under a so-called “rough-board” arrangement.
Under such an arrangement, individual horse owners and not the federation were responsible for the care, feeding and maintenance of their horses.
“Unfortunately, there have been an alarming number of horse fatalities and health issues at this site, as well as problems with the physical condition of the facilities, making it clear that a ‘rough board’ arrangement can no longer work,” Abramson said.
Neither the Federation of Black Cowboys nor the New York City office of the Humane Society returned calls seeking comment on the matter.
Abramson added that Parks and the federation have been working together to relocate horses that have been staying at Cedar Lane.
Owners have been given lists of other stable operations in the region, and they have contacted rescue and adoption organizations that would be willing to take on a horse that might be abandoned by its owner.
Abramson said that, if within six months, the federation can bring the stables to compliance with all laws, it could once again resume operations under a “full board” arrangement, under which the Black Cowboys would assume responsibility for the horses’ welfare.