American Quarter Horses March in London Parade

Watch scenes from the All the Queen’s Horses parade, which included American Quarter Horses for the first time in 2015.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

For the first time, American Quarter Horses were included in the 2015 All the Queen’s Horses parade on New Year’s Day in London. The 75-horse parade included 12 American Quarter Horses, and one rider carrying the AQHA flag.

“What an amazing experience the American Quarter Horse UK Team had!” said Lindsay Robinson of the United Kingdom, one of the event’s organizers who rode LJ Classic Luke, a 2000 bay gelding by Classic Impulse and out of CW Quintessence by Crimson War.

“We loved it and the horses loved it, too! Thank you so much to all the London New Year’s Day Parade organizers, specifically Caroline Marsh and her team from All the Queen’s Horses, and also to AQHA and AQHA UK who supported us in this adventure. You have given us memories that we will all cherish forever! It was everything we expected and much, much more. The chance to ride through the streets of London by iconic landmarks and meet some of the hundreds of thousands of spectators was something that I know we will always remember.”

Linda Courtney seconded that sentiment, saying, “That was a historic day in my life – to be able to ride in a parade, around the capital city of my nationality and on the best breed of horse anyone could ever have the privilege to own. To top it all, ‘Lizzie’ (Queen Elizabeth) was home to see us ride in her garden!”

Linda was riding Fantastic Mr Fox, a 2007 bay gelding by Little Foxy Knoxie and out of Ms Hickory Smoke by Doc’s Hickory.

It was Samuel Magdaleno Ruiz who carried the AQHA flag aboard Southearn Comfort, a 2004 sorrel stallion by Smart Like Juice and out of I Spot A Chic by Smart Chic Olena, owned by Sue Forrest.

“What an experience to be able to spend an exciting day doing something so different,” Samuel said. “Who gets the chance to ride up the Mall to Buckingham Palace?”

To Lucy Adams, who rode CS Texas Cat, a 2000 bay gelding by Texas Kicker and out of Donnas Catalyst by Taris Catalyst, the Quarter Horse was the perfect mount for a spectacle such as the London New Year’s Day Parade. 

“If my little American Quarter Horse can cope with London on New Year’s Day, I think I can say he can cope with anything!” she said with a laugh.

Riding Iced Tee, a 2005 sorrel gelding by Tejons Peppy Doc and out of Shes Dun It N Jewels by Jewel Dun It, Mary Larcom found the day best summed up by a poem:

At 4 in the morning we got out of bed,
Excited and curious about what lay ahead,
Our horses were loaded and off we all went
To find our own way to this historic event
The parking was tight but we all squeezed in,
In the next door street … Oh what a din!
Langans for breakfast or the Ritz for tea,
It's Nero's and a cup of black coffee for me!
An explosion of sound, the parade had begun
Bands and dancers all glad they had come.
We gathered together and rode down the streets
Horses and helpers some on their feet.
We stopped on our way for people to admire
Our wonderful horses and show attire.
One was not with us, but his time would come,
As with the Iberian horses he joined the fun.
A photo of course on horse guards parade
Where so much history has been made
Then off down the Mall how proud did we feel,
To ride down this road was quite surreal
Past Buckingham Palace, so grand and regal
Photos at one place only were legal
Not a word from our horses not even a sigh
As they silently watched this strange world go by
The noise and the colour, such a vibrant display
To add to the atmosphere of this fantastic day.
It will be years before our memories fade

See the full list of American Quarter Horses and riders who rode in the 2015 All the Queen’s Horses parade. 
Watch this highlight video produced by AQHA UK featuring the American Quarter Horses in the London New Year’s Day Parade.