London Harness Horse Parade

London Harness Horse Parade
Julian Elliott Photography/Getty Images

The London Harness Horse Parade is a show of well-kept and well-bred horses. It was formed by combining the London Cart Horse Parade, which was founded in 1885, and the London Van Horse Parade, which was founded in 1904.

The London Cart Horse Parade

The London Cart Horse Parade's objective was to improve the general condition and treatment of London’s working cart or heavy horses and to encourage drivers to take a humane interest in the welfare of their animals. For many years it was extremely popular but the introduction of motor vehicles saw the demise of horses as a means of transport.

The Van Horse Parade

The Van Horse Parade started in 1904 with similar objectives to the Cart Horse Parade but by the 1960s numbers were diminishing so in 1966, the decision was made to amalgamate the two parades forming the London Harness Horse Parade, which would also be held on Easter Monday.

Regent's Park and Battersea Park played host to the Parades for many years but it is now held at the South of England Showground.

You can see a wide variety of breeds of animal ranging from donkeys to Dutch Friesians and Gelderlanders, to the magnificent heavy horses, which remain a favorite with the crowds. Some turnouts do come from working homes, such as the Shire horses from the Young's & Fullers Breweries, or the Friesians from Harrods, and Cribbs Undertakers, but the majority of the Parade consists of privately-owned horses.

The parade retains its strong London identity, although exhibitors will travel from as far as Cornwall, Ireland, and Cumbria to participate.

When: The London Harness Horse Parade takes place annually on Easter Monday.


  • 10.30 a.m.: Inspections and judging starts
  • 1 p.m.: Parade and presentation of awards
  • 2 p.m. Parade ends

Where: The South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex RH17 6TL

Nearest Train Stations: East Grinstead OR Haywards Heath
From London Bridge or London Victoria.

Use National Rail Enquiries for train travel information.

Official Website:

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