Spanish horses and bright colours to feature in the All The Queen’s Horses Parade

  • Spanish horses are among those set to take to the streets of London on New Year’s Day as they take part in the All The Queen’s Horses parade.

    This year’s theme is “London welcomes the world” and among the riders taking part are Julie Chuter Nicholas with her Spanish-bred Andalusians Marfull and Temperano and Rachel Ezcurra with her eight-year-old Andalusian gelding Arthur.

    Julie, who will be riding in the parade for the fourth year and is team leader of the Spanish group, said: “My team are all very creative and we like to really turn the horses out as big and bold as we can, so we decided that this year we would represent the Mexican festival Day of the Dead, dia de las Muertos — a wonderful festival full of bright colours where Mexicans honour lost family members. This year we will also have a lot of face paint on so we are praying it won’t rain or we may scare a lot of little children.”

    Julie is self-taught at making costumes and spends hours looking online for suitable pieces.

    “All of our costumes are tried on the horses in the stable first to ensure they are happy with them. The glitter stencils look amazing for special occasions and once a year we get the glitter out and bling the horses up.

    “My horse will have some beautiful Minorcan PRE bridle adornments, weather permitting as they are a little too special to risk getting wet. Both of my horses have almost matching quarter sheets in red and black, and beautiful red saddle pads, all adorned with sugar skulls, roses and orange Marigolds the traditional flower used for Dia Des Meurtos.”

    Julie said she is very proud to work “with a “super team” on the event.

    “Not only do we have riders but we also have a fantastic ground crew who will also be walking with us, they spend as much time and effort and money to produce their costumes, and without them we couldn’t get the horses there and be as safe.”

    Rachel, who will be representing India, is riding in the parade for the first time. She “vowed” she would ride after taking part on foot last year.

    Rachel said: “India is a country of colour, vibrancy and lots of gold so I wanted to include that in my costume, but also ensuring that it worked for Arthur. He should enjoy this too so I want him to be as comfortable as possible.

    “He has lots of tassels and there are 100 bells sewn on to his boots, bridle and reins, so you should hear us coming. Arthur’s mane will be multi-coloured and have a diamond braid and his tail will be in the colours of the Indian flag. His hooves will be blue glitter, I just want as much bright colour for the day as possible.”

    Rachel said Arthur “loves attention” and said she is “grateful” to be taking part after Arthur was diagnosed with proximal suspensory desmopathy (a lameness issue affecting the suspensory ligament) in June.

    I thought it was all over in June as my boy was diagnosed with PSD and has been on box rest. He has completed all treatment and he is currently in rehab and he was signed off to take part in the parade in October, which was fantastic news.

    “The All The Queen’s Horses team are great, everyone is welcoming and everyone taking part is so supportive of each other.”

    The London New Year’s Day parade began in 1987, with All The Queen’s Horses first joining the line up in 2012.

    60 equines are expected to take part and around 500,000 spectators attend the event every year, lining a route that runs from Piccadilly near Green Park to Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, ending in Parliament Square.

    The parade starts at noon.

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