Brooklynites hoofed it over to Prospect Park for an equestrian parade on June 29, which featured a procession of gallant steeds trotting through the park, along with performances from horseback entertainers and pony rides for children.
“It was terrific,” said Alison Clarke of the New York State Horse Council. “It was a really good thing for the community. Everyone who saw it stopped in the street and admired it.”
The council — a nonprofit advocacy group designed to preserve horse culture — is working with local horse enthusiast John Quadrozzi Jr. to revitalize the rutty bridal trails lining Brooklyn’s Backyard.
“We want to improve the general condition in the park, where some areas are actually dangerous because the trails have deteriorated,” said Quadrozzi. “The big item we want to address is turnout. We want the horses to be able to frolic with one another, and allow people to see the horses and how they interact with one another.”
Quadrozzi — who recently purchased and is working to renovate the ailing former Kensington horse stables — hopes to convince local green-space gurus to lease park land to the newly-renovated stables for free-roaming horses.
“We’re talking with the Prospect Park Alliance, who we love to partner with on these objectives and common goals,” he said.
Clarke said that rallies like the horse parade were important to draw attention to the horseback riding industry in the area.
“Events like these promote an interest in horses in the city, where otherwise one might not exist,” she said. “We’re interested in keeping Prospect Park a thriving place for horses.”
And there’s nothing like a pony ride to attract new blood to the hobby, Quadrozzi said.
“We always like to do pony rides, because it gives kids an opportunity to try out horse riding, and possibly become future riders,” said Quadrozzi. “I think the children really enjoyed it.”