Protesters decry models on horse carriages

Protesters decry models on horse carriages

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Fashion models needed an escort and security to be loaded into horse-drawn carriages and ride around Central Park. Seven models in seven carriages were the stunt of a clothing designer trying to kick off New York Fashion Week.

The models found themselves in the center of a controversy that has been brewing between animal rights activists and carriage drivers since the mayor who wants to get rid of them took office in January.

Victor de Souza is the fashion designer who sent his models to Central Park. He says he loves clothes and horses, but wasn't aware of the controversy.

"I thought it would be beautiful to do it. I didn't know before, but I know now," said De Souza.

Animal rights groups side with the mayor and want the horses taken out of the park.

Even though the issue about whether to ban carriages from Central Park has yet to come before city council many celebrities had taken one side or another.

This time it was the fashion industry's turn to step into an ongoing controversy.

Not only was De Souza taken aback, so was one of his models, former reality TV star Kate Stolzfus of 'Breaking Amish.' 

“I was a little surprised because the horses were so well taken care of. I was surprised about the hype," said Stolzfus.

The runway beauty who left her family north of Lancaster, Penn. for the modeling world and New York City knows a thing or two about horses. She spent a great deal of her life riding and caring for horses, the primary source of transportation for the Amish. 

"I don't think they'd (the Amish) would understand why there is protesting because animals are working," said Stolzfus.

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