MANHATTAN — An out-of-control carriage horse reportedly slipped free from its driver and ran loose around Central Park Monday evening before slamming its carriage into a taxi carrying a Mets outfielder.
The horse, named Pumpkin, was in the hansom cab line near Sixth Avenue and Central Park South about 5:45 p.m. when its bridle slipped loose, the Daily News reported.
“[It] just fell off. As soon as he knew it wasn’t there, he just took off,” driver Ata Ak, 27, told the newspaper.
The Belgian draft horse then bolted into the park, where it galloped its usual loop without the driver, the newspaper reported.
A bicyclist who was out for a ride at the time spotted the loose steed and raced over to grab its reigns and bring it to a stop, the News said.
The brave cyclist managed to wedge Pumpkin's carriage between a Mercedes and a yellow cab carrying Mets center fielder Matt den Dekker, near where the horse's run began, the News added.
"Almost got ran over by a horse carriage running wild through the city," the player tweeted.
No injuries — human or animal — were reported in the incident, the News said.
It was not immediately clear if any criminality was involved in the incident or if the carriage driver would be issued any tickets. An NYPD spokesman did not have further information.
Neither the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which oversees the carriage industry, nor the Department of Consumer Affairs, which regulates carriage drivers, immediately responded to requests for comment.
Pumpkin's run comes amid a contentious battle over the future of horse-drawn carriages in the city.
Many vocal opponents of the carriages seized on the incident as further evidence that they should be banned.
"This evening’s chaos in Central Park show the serious public safety menace caused by keeping horses in Manhattan, whether on the streets or in the park," said People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' Dan Mathews in a statement.