Horses lead Santa parade in Portsmouth

Don Kettle (left) and Santa Claus lead the parade in Common Fence Point Sunday. Two Belgian draft horses pulled a wagon full of 4-H members. Don Kettle (left) and Santa Claus lead the parade in Common Fence Point Sunday. Two Belgian draft horses pulled a wagon full of 4-H members.

Don Kettle (left) and Santa Claus lead the parade in Common Fence Point Sunday. Two Belgian draft horses pulled a wagon full of 4-H members.

PORTSMOUTH — Oh what fun it was to ride in a two-horse open sleigh.

OK, ok — it was a wagon.

Two Rhode Island 4-H equestrian clubs delighted residents of Common Fence Point Sunday afternoon as they galloped through the neighborhood while escorting the big man himself, Santa Claus.

(Watch a short video here.)

Members of the Aquidneck Riders of Portsmouth and Team Riders of Richmond first gathered at the VFH Hall on Anthony Road, where they decorated the horses with ribbons, bows, bells and — in one case — antlers and a red nose.

Aquidneck Riders member Allie Nekrasz rides Josh, who was dressed up as Rudolph.

Then a two-horse wagon holding Santa, driver Dan Kettle and lots of merry children led the parade of equestrians west down Massachusetts Boulevard. They took a right onto Attleboro Avenue, skirted the beach along Common Fence Point Boulevard, then criss-crossed the streets intersecting Rhode Island Boulevard.

It was then back to the VFW for some merriment and treats. 4-H members also collected donations of canned goods for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

Tina Little carries Wagner, a 5-month-old Nigerian goat, as she walks alongside the horses. Wagner was upset that he was separated from his sister, who was in the wagon. They were reunited a few minutes later.

The 4-H presented the parade as part of its mission of community service and citizenship. For more information, visit www.uri.edu/4h.

 

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