Riding through central London on New Year’s Day

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In this video, we meet Sophie Brown, who is one of the team-leaders in ‘All The Queens Horses’, the equestrian section of the London New Year’s Day Parade. On 1 January 2017, she will be one of 64 riders taking to the streets of London in front of a crowd of up to half a million spectators.

She introduces us to Moylough Roger D (‘Roger’), her five-year-old show cob, who is taking part in the parade for the first time. Roger has been competing at county level showing in both cob and side-saddle classes, and this year he qualified for HOYS in his first season.

Sophie explains what makes Roger suitable for taking part in the parade, and how she has worked on desensitizing him to crowds, noise and flags. She also talks about how surreal it is to ride past London’s most famous landmarks.

This year’s theme is ‘Lights, Camera, Action’, and Sophie’s team are all wearing costumes from the film Oliver Twist. Watch the video to see her dressed as Nancy, her dad Tony dressed as Mr Brownlow and her friend Lorraine as a flower seller.

As well as seeing Sophie all dressed up for the occasion, watch as she puts Roger through his paces. Hats are optional for those riders taking part in the parade who are over the age of 16. Sophie has opted not to wear a hat as part of her costume.

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

(Image (c) Fotos4Events)