Originally created 05/12/05

Animals pull into Augusta for event

More than 100 people will drive down Broad Street on Saturday, but none of their vehicles will be motorized.

The people will be driving four-legged animals that will be pulling their carts and carriages in the 14th annual Horse and Carriage Parade at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The parade will start at Fifth and Broad streets, travel on Broad to 10th Street, turn right onto 10th Street and travel to Reynolds Street, then turn right onto Reynolds Street and end at Fifth Street.

A Victorian Village will be held in conjunction with the parade from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Augusta Common. The village will feature vendors with food, crafts, jewelry and more, plus free pony rides for children.

The parade usually is held in January during the Augusta Futurity, but has been moved to the spring in hopes that the warmer weather will draw bigger crowds, said Pat Doennig, the parade director.

The parade is the largest of its kind in the Southeast, according to Ms. Doennig. No engines are allowed.

"You have to be on foot, horseback, in a carriage or on a bicycle," she said.

The parade has two headliners, a hitch with eight draft mules out of Oklahoma, and a hitch of eight black Percherons, a breed of draft horse, from Pennsylvania. The horses weigh more than a ton each.

Ms. Doennig said the parade is open to any animal trained to pull. She has entries for a pair of goats and short-horned cattle.

Two years ago, Peggy Babineau, of Aiken, bought two horses - Tiny, a 2,400-pound black Percheron more than 6 feet tall, and Goliath, a 400-pound, 38-inch miniature horse.

She sold Goliath three weeks ago, but they will be reunited at the parade.

Ms. Babineau will ride her walking horse, Starbuck, while Goliath will be driven by its new 11-year-old owner and Tiny will be driven by Jim Rhodes, of Augusta.

"This parade is very good for the area and for the horse industry," said Mr. Rhodes, who owns and operates a driving horse and carriage auction. "The Aiken-Augusta area has a lot of different disciplines of horses that come in - cutting, polo, racing - and the driving horses shows a different discipline."

Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or samantha.mckevie@augustachronicle.com.


WHAT: The 14th annual Augusta Horse and Carriage Parade and Victorian Village

WHEN: Parade 2 p.m. Saturday, Victorian Village 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Parade route starts at Fifth and Broad streets, to 10th Street, right on 10th Street, right on Reynolds and return to Fifth Street; Victorian Village at Augusta Common, 800 block downtown between Broad and Reynolds streets

INFORMATION: Call 828-4323 or visit www.carriageparade.com.


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