Story highlights

"The horse got spooked and rolled the carriage," a detective says

Incident occurs late Thursday afternoon in Columbus Circle

"The horse ran up Broadway," says witness

After the show, it's back to the stables

New York CNN  — 

It wouldn’t be shocking to see cats or lions on Broadway. Many have flocked to Broadway to see these animals, in plays of course.

But how about a horse running down Broadway dodging Manhattan traffic while dragging terrified tourists?

That’s what happened Thursday afternoon in a horse-drawn carriage accident that had even the most hard-to-startle New Yorkers gawking.

“The horse got spooked and rolled the carriage,” NYPD Detective Martin Speechley said. “There were two passengers and a driver. All of them have nothing but minor injuries, if there are any injuries at all.”

Witnesses said the horse was moving westward along Central Park South when it entered Columbus Circle, a traffic rotary at the park’s southwest corner, and bolted. As it ran, it struck an object, which split the carriage in two parts and freed the horse to run free, they said.

“I saw the horse at a full gallop with either people or a person in the carriage,” said CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, who watched the incident unfold in front of the network’s New York bureau. “Then the carriage separated and the horse ran up Broadway.”

As paramedics tended to the carriage riders, the panicked horse was stopped and controlled by police.

“We corralled the horse and took it into custody, and it was taken back to its stables by the mounted police,” Speechley said.

A veterinarian examined the horse; it was not known whether the horse or riders sustained any serious injuries.