Dozens of kids from around Philadelphia on Saturday got a mini escape from city life as they got a chance to try horseback riding at Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club’s annual fall festival.
It’s the second year the nonprofit has held an autumn party at its Strawberry Mansion stables, but the idea is central to its existence, said founder Ellis Ferrell.
“There are so many things that I want to do for the kids,” Ferrell said, explaining that being able to hold space for children to come together is the beating heart of the organization he founded nearly two decades ago. “We always have a Christmas celebration, and for a while I wanted to do something like this for them.”
Ferrell moved to the neighborhood when he himself was a young teen, after learning rodeo growing up in Tallahassee. He started buying horses in Philly, and ran several other riding clubs before establishing Fletcher Street in 2004. The stables have been featured in everything from a Parisian art exhibit to the Hollywood movie “Concrete Cowboy.”
The club hosts various community events throughout the year, including a special get-out-the-vote ride through West Philly in 2020.
At the fall festival, young folks enjoyed face painting, food, a bouncy house, music, and, of course, the animals. Most gravitated to the many horses of Fletcher Street and waited for their turn to saddle up with the help of young volunteers and ride around the corral.
Watching them take happiness in the trots, Ferrell reiterated this why he wants the stables to keep being a place for kids.
Scroll down to see photos of kids enjoying the equestrian party at the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club.