There has been outcry in New York after a carriage horse, used for tourist trips round Central Park, dropped dead in the street on Sunday (23 October).

The grey horse collapsed and died in Western Manhattan on W 54th street as it headed towards Central Park at around 9.30am.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is waiting for results of a necropsy.

“At present, the findings are inconclusive, but the ASPCA is investigating the cause of death. We at the ASPCA express our sadness and concern at this tragic incident,” said a spokesman.

There are around 220 carriage horses working in New York. The animals work a nine-hour shift and are stabled two miles from the Park. They spend their days taking tourists on trips round Central Park.

A spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York told the New York Daily News that the unexplained death was “a tragedy”.

“It’s not something that happens regularly. Our horses are taken care of.”