Thousands of people gathered in central London for the New Year’s Day parade and saw six-year-old Faith ride her pony among the dancers, acrobats and performers.
Faith Wilkinson, six, dressed as her favourite Disney character Mirabel from Encanto, to ride her miniature Shetland pony Harry through the streets.
She was invited to take part as a member of All The Queens Horses, a group created by Caroline Marsh in 2012 to mark the Queen’s ‘Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 Olympics and brought about by the Queen’s love of horses.
The group has attended the London New Year’s Day Parade for 10 years.
The parade, which has been taking place since 1987, saw more than 8,000 performers entertain crowds along the route.
It was cancelled in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic and this year is thought to have attracted more than 500,000 spectators.
The three-hour parade is billed as one of the world’s greatest street spectaculars featuring performers from across the world, including dancers, acrobats, cheerleaders and marching bands.
It wove through the streets of London, trailed by huge balloons, music, and confetti, for a highly colourful celebration of the New Year.
Some 30 horses joined in – fewer than the usual 60 as it was the first in-person event for two years.
The route began at Piccadilly, then headed east to Piccadilly Circus, before moving south down Regent Street and St James’s, passing Pall Mall, to the finish point at Westminster.
Faith, from Bampton, was accompanied by Harry’s owner Emma Hinds and her mum Abby.
Ms Hinds said: “There were acts from all over the world in the parade and we were one. The parade is incredible really but it’s not very well known about as it’s quite American.
“We left Witney at 5am and had to be outside the Ritz at 7am. They close all the streets and we can park outside the hotel.
“The parade starts at Piccadilly and on the way we stopped at Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade and we went through Green Park and finished at Westminster.”
Ms Hinds, from Witney, is a volunteer who also takes Harry into care homes as a therapy animal.
She added: “Faith had the most amazing time and looked adorable dressed at Mirabel from Disney’s Encanto.
“There were mainly horses so she was the youngest on the smallest pony.
“There were lots of aahs.”
This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.
Get in touch with her by emailing: Miranda.Norris@newsquest.co.uk. Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris
Profile: Miranda Norris Journalists news from the Oxford Mail
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