Prospect Park

Historic horse parade returns to Brooklyn this Saturday

June 28, 2019 Mary Frost
The Brooklyn Eagle and the ASPCA sponsored the Dog & Horse Parade during Brooklyn’s famous equestrian past. Shown: This parade, in June, 1935, included 500 dogs, 252 horses and a goat. Courtesy Dog & Horse Parade Collection, Brooklyn Collection, Brooklyn Public Library
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Brooklyn’s equestrian past included carriage drives and bridle paths, horse shows and parades.

This Saturday, horse fanciers are making a “small first shot” at returning the grand tradition of the horse parade to Prospect Park, thanks to Brooklyn industrialist and horse fancier John Quadrozzi Jr.

The Prospect Park Equine Rally “will celebrate the revival of the urban horse in Prospect Park, a park built for horses,” Quadrozzi told the Brooklyn Eagle.

The rally will promote horse riding in the park and “further efforts for much needed equine improvements and additions in the park and surrounding streets,” he added.

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The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. at Frederick MacMonnies‘ famous Horse Tamers statues, Parkside Circle at Prospect Park, and follow the Bridle Path to the riding circle known as “the Q equine arena” (aka “the Q”). There will be some brief remarks and then fun equestrian events through noon.

The last grand equestrian parades in Brooklyn were held in the 1930s, sponsored by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and the ASPCA. At a parade in June 1935, according to an article in the Eagle, roughly 500 dogs, 252 horses and a goat (pulling a cart) participated.

Saurday’s event will be smaller, but well worth attending.

“There will be period clothing, old flags and gear,” Quadrozzi said. The performance will bring back Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, the most famous of all the units fighting in Cuba. Riders from Brooklyn equine (aka Be) from the Prospect Park Stable and other stables will be performing, along with “a miniature mule.”

There will also be free pony rides for the kids, and a barbecue.

Quadrozzi has been lauded for reviving this part of Brooklyn’s history. He has championed repairs to the park’s bridal paths, has upgraded the Q, is setting up an equestrian program for disadvantaged kids, and intends to bring back the historic stable as a new state-of-the-art horse facility. He says he hopes the parade will help “stir interest in riding and improving the environment.”

Quadrozzi waxes poetic when he talks about another one of his dreams for the horses of Prospect Park. He wants to build a “turnout” — a space where you let the horses run free as a group — in the park.

“The horses frolic, jump, roll over and play with each other,” he said. “They play like little kids. When you see it, it’s quite beautiful to watch.”

To RSVP or for more information about Prospect Park equine activities email [email protected]


Update: This event takes place Saturday, not Sunday as originally reported

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