Popular Easter spectacle returns with 132nd parade

The historic and popular London Harness Horse Parade will once again be taking place at the South of England Centre in Ardingly '“ its 132nd event.

Wednesday, 12th April 2017, 11:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:54 pm
The popular event takes place on Easter Monday (April 17)

The annual event, which takes place on Easter Monday (April 17), is an amalgamation of The London Cart Horse Parade, which first started in 1885, and the London Van Horse Parade, which started in 1904 and depicts transportation through the ages.

This makes it one of the oldest and most well-loved carriage driving events in the country.

Generations of carriage-driving families make the annual Easter pilgrimage to the parade and the current president, WA Gilbey, is a direct descendant of the founder of the London Cart Horse Parade, sir Walter Gilbey Bart.

Generations of carriage-driving families make the annual Easter pilgrimage to the parade

Jackie Shearman, the parade secretary, said: “With Easter being a little later this year everyone is looking forward to a wonderful warm day out in the Sussex countryside.

“Enquiries and entries are coming in strongly now and we look set to have over a hundred fine carriages, carts and vehicles in the 132nd annual parade with a good cross-section of transport through the ages to entertain the spectators this Easter Monday.

“I urge anyone who hasn’t taken part before or hasn’t joined us for a few years to support us this year and see just how much the parade has expanded whilst still retaining the same family traditions from years gone by.”

The London Harness Horse Parade has been a popular Easter spectacle for decades.

Generations of carriage-driving families make the annual Easter pilgrimage to the parade

Twelve years ago it moved from its central London location to the spacious, purpose-built centre in Selsfiled Road.

The parade has since been expanded to include a display of the earliest motor cars to enhance the spectacle of how transport developed over the ages.

In addition to the 100 plus horse drawn vehicles, the parade will include vintage tractors, historic and classic cars, allowing spectators to experience the changes from horse drawn transport to mechanically propelled vehicles.

The parade will start at 10.30am. The gates open at 8.30am for spectators to watch the exhibits being prepared and to admire the historic and classic cars in attendance.

People can also visit the trade stands to do some Easter shopping, as well as enjoy the refreshments on offer.

The main parade and presentation of prizes will take place following completion of judging and inspections later in the morning.

Tickets cost £8 per adult with children and parking is free.

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