Riders set to take London by storm on New Year’s Day

  • A cavalcade of horses and riders in fancy dress will take the capital by storm on New Year’s Day as All The Queen’s Horses returns to London.

    Along with jugglers, cheerleaders, acrobats, clowns and marching bands, 64 riders and horses will take to the streets with their take on famous films and television programmes.

    This year’s theme is “lights, camera action”, in keeping with the parade’s tradition of keeping to a set style.

    Previous years have celebrated the “swinging 60s”, “London moving” and, in 2016, “magic and fantasy” (pictured).

    The riders taking part, who were invited for selection from across the UK, with some travelling from Belgium for the occasion, range from six-year-old Bluebell, on her friend’s Shetland and dressed as a Dalmatian, to a man in his 70s.

    “They are unpaid volunteers unified in their passion for horses and bringing equestrianism to the capital!” said a spokesman for the event.

    Organiser Caroline Marsh is leading the horse parade dressed as Wonder Woman.

    She will be riding Sam, a 16.2hh chestnut hunter belonging to her friend Barbara Paige.

    The horse will be making his third and last parade appearance.

    “We’ve got a fantastic theme once again this year,” said Ms Marsh.

    “The costumes are going to wow the crowds. It’s such a special part of the parade and we all love bringing equestrianism to the capital to this unique annual event.”

    The equestrian element of the parade starts off 11.45am at Piccadilly Circus and finishes at Parliament, with the return route via Horse Guards, The Mall and Buckingham Palace.

    Anyone can apply to take part in the parade but spaces are limited and there is already a waiting list for next year.

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    The free event is televised live to a worldwide audience and usually watched by a crowd of over 500,000.

    For more information, visit the event’s website.

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