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Heavy horses make an impact on Dunedin

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By Debbie Porteous on Mon, 13 Jun 2011

 

From the time they arrived at a car park in St Andrew St in Dunedin with their entourage of various wagons and people, to when they arrived at Forbury Park several hours later, a company of well-groomed Clydesdales attracted crowds.

The horses, much more at home in the countryside tilling fields than clopping along tarmac, had come to town for a parade to celebrate 100 years since the Clydesdale Horse Society of New Zealand, which held its first council meeting in Dunedin, was formed.

The parade was part of three days of festivities in the city which began on Thursday.

The John McGlashan College Pipe Band heralded the clomp, clomp of the single, double and up to nine-horse teams of Clydesdales pulling all manner of wagons, carts and buggies bearing hay, wool and people in period dress through the city streets on Saturday.

Crowds gathered at the Railway Station, along Stuart St and in the Octagon between 10.15am and noon as the parade of about 40 horses and 12 wagons made its way through the city to Forbury Park where centennial celebrations of the Clydesdale Horse Society continued.

Welcoming the group to the city, Mayor Dave Cull said some of the Clydesdales were better turned out than he was, even though he had brought out his mayoral "bling" for the occasion.

Clydesdales had been an integral part of Otago's mainly rural history and the pa-rade was a great sight to see, Mr Cull said.

It had been 70 years since there had been a Clydesdale parade in Dunedin and he hoped it would not be another 70 years before the next.