Equestrian teams in the Rose Parade to meet their public

122nd Annual Tournament Of Roses Parade Presented By Honda

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Riders on horse back perform during the 122 annual Tournament of Roses Parade presented by Honda on January 1, 2011 in Pasadena, California.

Before they assemble in fancy tack and costumes for Monday’s Rose Parade, the spectacle’s horses and their riders will be available for public view the Friday before New Year's.

From its earliest days in the 1890s, the annual Tournament of Roses parade has always included horses. Theirs was the original horsepower that moved flower-strewn carriages along the route.

The event’s founders also recognized and honored the equestrian lore of the West – and included parade units that reflected the romance of cowboy and caballero life. For close-ups of this Rose Parade tradition, the stables at the L.A. Equestrian Center in Griffith Park will open so admirers may meet parade riders and their mounts.

This “open horse” from 11 am to 3 pm is free for children younger than five, and $15 a head for everyone else; parking is $5 a car.

Speaking of money, the kinds of economic concerns that have affected other Rose Parade participants haven’t bypassed the horses. Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch said the tough economy is to blame for their decision not to send its signature Clydesdale draft horses and wagon to Pasadena for the first time in 58 years.

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