"Parade On!" The History of the Parade Class
Many of the questions we receive while performing demonstrations with our World Champion Parade Horse, Paddyngton's Mark fo Distinction often have to do with the class itself. What is it? How are the exhibitors required to perform?
As a professional exhibitor in the Parade class, Holly Armstrong longs to bring the once-crowded class back into the limelight and help others to appreciate the history behind the sport.
Marcus & Holly look forward to share the Beauty and History of The Parade Horse Division to audiences across the Nation. Bringing some of The Old West History into a New Millennium!
The Vintage Silver equipment, which consists of The Silver Saddle and Tapaderos, Bridle with Face Chain and Reins, Breast Collar, Hip drop and Serapes. The Saddle Pad is a Corona Pad. Many of these tack sets, including the equipment used by Holly and "Marcus", are vintage sets designed by Ted Flowers one of the most well-known makers of Parade saddles in the U.S.
The equipment is designed as a tribute to the flashy style of the Old West. (Remember Roy Rogers & Trigger?) The full set worn by "Marcus" weighs in at approximately 150 pounds.
The Parade horse is typically dressed in flowers and ribbons that match the colors of his rider's Vintage Suit that is adourned in Rhinestones. The idea is to dress the horse as if he were participating in a real parade, so flashiness is key.
"Marcus" typically has flowers braided into his mane and tail, and his hooves Glittered.
In the Parade division, a horse is judged on his appearance, his gaits, and his manners. A Parade horse must move at a slow, (5 mph) animated/high-stepping gait suitable for a real parade. Too fast, and the crowd misses him as he passes by.
He must be well-groomed and adorned with ribbons and flowers to complete the "Parade horse" look.
Finally, a horse must be well-behaved in the ring. He must willingly follow his rider's commands and obey them in a calm, composed manner. He must also be able to stop and stand still at any time, as in a real parade, children may stray in front of the horse by mistake.