The Beatles Many Encounters with Horses
From Central Park to Aintree Racetree to Missouri’s Ozarks, the Beatles often found themselves in the company of horses giving teenage girls yet one more reason to LOVE the Beatles.
The Beatles in Central Park (1964).
February 7, 1964
It was the day the Beatles arrived in America. They just scored their first number 1 U.S. hit with “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. Arriving at New York’s Kennedy Airport, the Beatles disembarked to 3000 screaming fans. The following day the Beatles took a carriage ride in Central Park. George missed the outing, staying at the hotel to nurse a sore throat. February 9th, the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. More than 73 million people (40% of the U.S. population) tuned in to watch. Before the week’s end, the Beatles performed their first live concert at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C. in front of 20,000 fans.
The Beatles filming Penny Lane (1967).
February 7, 1967
Another momentous February 7 for the Beatles as they finished a two-day shoot for the short film Penny Lane which included riding horses and walking around Angel Lane in Stratford, London and Knole Park in Sevenoaks, Kent. Filming may have wrapped earlier except for a wardrobe delay – the red hunting jackets worn by the group were not delivered as promised and someone was sent to a nearby town to pick them up. This film was one of the first examples of what would later become known as a “music video”. Directed by Peter Goldmann, it was selected by New York’s MoMA as one of the most influential promotional music films of the late 1960s.
More Beatles/Horse Memories
Drake’s Drum – 1964
Paul McCartney bought a racehorse named Drake’s Drum for his father Jim in celebration of his 62nd birthday. Drake’s Drum greatest accomplishment came at Liverpool’s Aintree Racecourse when he won the Hylton Plate, the race that preceded the Grand National. Both Paul and his father were there to cheer the win. Drake’s Drum was retired to McCartney’s High Park Farm in Scotland.
Jim McCartney and Drake’s Drum
Riding at the Pigman ranch (1964).
Hanging with Reed Pigman – 1964
By September, the Beatles were in Texas nearing the end of their American tour. They were treated to one day off between concerts at the Missouri home of Reed Pigman. Pigman’s business secured the charter service contract, ferrying the Beatles during their 1964 tour. The Beatles enjoyed some good ole southern hospitality; they drank beer, played poker, ate home cooking and rode horses.
Dark Horse Records – 1974
Founded by George Harrison, the label gave Harrison a venue to support other musicians as well as his solo career.
Dark Horse Records – George Harrison’s Label
Sir Paul McCartney and Moonstone
Sir Paul McCartney and Moonstone rocking horse
Rocking Horse Moonstar – 2015
Sir Paul McCartney commissioned a rocking horse in the likeness of his Appaloosa, Moonstar, that was auctioned to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, England. The one-of-a kind toy was inscribed with lyrics from the hit song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” Made from oak and chestnut wood, the mane and tail are real horse hair by Stevenson Brothers. The piece included a secret compartment containing a “surprise” for the winning bidder. The rocking horse raised L8,300 ($11,500.00).