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Why horses are the ‘lifeblood of the parade’ – Pasadena Star Information


In its 134-year historical past, the Rose Parade has grown to function some wonderful developments in float design, trendy band preparations and even dazzling leisure, whereas nonetheless holding true to its beginnings.

Together with the float and band entries, the annual New Yr’s custom additionally options greater than a dozen equestrian items, every wanting to amaze viewers with their using abilities, conventional and exquisite apparel and to share their very own inspiring tales.

• Associated: Rose Parade 2023: Each equestrian unit on this yr’s parade

“Traditionally talking, the equestrian items are the lifeblood of the parade,” mentioned Jim Ciampa, chairman of the Equestrian Committee for the Event of Roses.

“Whereas horses aren’t as prevalent from a societal standpoint as they had been within the late 1800s, they nonetheless are a really, crucial a part of the parade’s heritage and we’re happy to honor them annually.”

Because the story goes, the primary Rose Parade was sponsored by the Valley Hunt Membership, as members lavishly embellished horse-drawn carriages with recent blooms present in a Southern California winter.

RELATED: 2023 Rose Parade lineup: Your information to each float, each band, each horse unit, so as

“The Valley Hunt Membership has been part of the New Yr’s Day celebration ever because the first parade in 1890,” mentioned Katie Bolton Litwin, Valley Hunt Membership member and the membership’s Rose Parade chairwoman.

“I believe it is actually nostalgic to nonetheless function equestrian items within the parade due to the way it began.”

Simply as within the early days, VHC members stay the one decorators of the carriages and horses for the parade. A committee units the floral design and colour scheme, and annually the membership’s present president will get the glory of using within the horse-drawn carriage with their household from him on the parade route.

Diana Nixon could have that honor on Jan. 2, accompanied by her household, in a Leyendekker horse-drawn carriage pulled by Friesian horses.

“In 1983, we began working with a carriage vendor, Leyendekker from Visalia, who supplies the normal carriages and Friesian horses,” mentioned Bolton Litwin.

The VHC entry will function three outsiders who’re additionally members using Leyendekker horses.

Bolton Litwin mentioned a number of of the equestrian items camped out with their horse trailers close to the parade route. Most additionally take part within the annual Equestfest, a showcase occasion main as much as parade day. The VHC doesn’t historically take part in Equestfest.

“It is so spectacular if you see a few of the horses, like the gorgeous Clydesdales, and the items of their costumes,” she mentioned. “All of the horse folks actually know one another; it is an awesome community.”

Whereas a few of the items had been shaped for functions apart from showcasing or using in parades, many are additionally shaped for leisure and the love of using. And plenty of additionally see the parade as a method to present the world their traditions, such because the New Buffalo Troopers and The Ramona Outside Play.

The play, previously often known as The Ramona Pageant, is an outside play based mostly on Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel, “Ramona,” and held yearly in Hemet.

Although fiction, it tells the historical past of the California native tribes based mostly on precise occasions that occurred in Southern California within the 1870s and Eighties.

The Ramona Outside Play is kicking off its one centesimal yr celebration with the Rose Parade this yr. The unit’s first look within the parade was solely a yr after its first staged play in 1923.

The equestrian unit options cowboys and Spanish riders portrayed within the play symbolizing mid-Nineteenth century California historical past, with breeds reminiscent of quarter horse, Molly mule, Fox Trotter and thoroughbreds.

“From the outset, horses have been an integral a part of the parade, predating the entry of floats and autos,” Ciampa mentioned. “We honor that historical past by persevering with to incorporate a broad array of breeds, tack, costumes and items annually.”


Get a preview of a few of the 2023 Rose Parade equestrian performers as they showcase their abilities in using, dancing, roping and their lovely horses. Equestfest additionally includes a vendor and meals court docket, music and academic and interactive displays.

the place: Los Angeles Equestrian Middle, 480 Riverside Drive, Burbank

When: Dec. 30, 10 am to three pm, rain or shine, with the equestrian present midday to 2 pm

tickets: $20 (free for ages 5 and youthful); VIP $45; parking $15


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