Remembering A Beloved Parks Clydesdale
Not all NYC Parks staff are people, and we want to take note of one very special four-legged Parkie who retired in 2012 and passed away on March 9, 2014.
His name was "Ben", and he was a Clydesdale who joined the Parks Mounted Unit as a 4-year-old gelding in 2000. Along with his 6-year-old half brother "Jerry", Ben was purchased through a very generous donation to the Mounted Unit from George Steinbrenner. Both horses were born and raised on a farm in upstate New York where they competed in wagon and driving competitions.
Personifying the placid, graceful strength of the brawny breed, Ben and Jerry became famous as the NYC Parks Clydesdales. They were highly visible at many Parks events and parades throughout the years, charming and inspiring children and adults alike with their power and beauty.
In July, 2012, at the age of 17, Ben was retired to a beautiful farm in Flemington, New Jersey where he spent his days grazing in the fields and enjoying the sun and fresh air.
Ben passed away peacefully on March 9, 2014. He will always be remembered as a true Gentle Giant whose service and value to Parks and the City of New York rival that of any human. He will be greatly missed.
Submitted by Deborah Zingale, Urban Park Service
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.'
We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground."
Zora Neale Hurston
(1901 - 1960)