The Kentucky Gal at the Center of NYC’s Horse-Drawn Carriage Debate

If you have not been closely following the debate about New York City’s iconic horse-drawn carriages, you might be surprised to learn about the lineage of Christina Hansen, a driver who has become a dynamic spokesperson for the “pro” side.

BlueStarEquicultureLogoDad Gary teaches sociology at the University of Kentucky and mom Elizabeth is chair of Eastern Kentucky University’s Department of Communications. The 33-year-old Hansen, back in her home state to attend mom’s induction into the the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, talked with Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen about how she detoured from graduate school and plans to follow in her parents’ teaching footsteps:

In 2009, Hansen helped a friend, fellow Philadelphia carriage driver Pam Rickenbach, start Blue Star Equiculture in Palmer, MA. The non-profit helps working horses in need of rescue and is a retirement home for Philadelphia and New York carriage horses.

That was Hansen’s introduction into advocacy, and she soon found herself recruited by friends to attend meetings of an anti-carriage group in New York to learn their strategy. The following year, she moved to New York to drive a carriage.

Having grown up in Kentucky around horses, Hansen says she was shocked by how ill-informed auto drivers in Philly would roll down their windows and curse her out for “animal cruelty.” Read the full column here.

[Image courtesy:]

Previously on FishbowlNY:
GonzoFest, Hall of Fame: The Legacy of Hunter S. Thompson Lives On

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.