From Hackney to Philadelphia via Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club

Rudimental, whose latest track I posted yesterday, are a four-piece outfit from my old stamping ground of Hackney. Interestingly, one of their older videos involves them running round North London in white rabbit suits. Their latest video to ‘Feel the Love’ left the rabbits behind and in the process intrigued me – featuring horses & riders in an über urban environment, so, I hopped on the Google, as you do.

Turns out, they shot it at the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club in Philadelphia, an amazing project that tackles unemployment, drug culture and crime through mentoring young people as they become involved with the horses. Like every good grass roots project, they need to fundraise so you can click here for donations and here to buy photographer Martha Camarillo’s book.

It reminds me a little of Mudchute City Farm where I used to ride with a friend, on the Isle of Dogs, behind Asda. The Fletcher Street project looks edgier somehow. I think it’s riding in hoods, not helmets, that does it. I was in Philadelphia once, the ‘City of Brotherly Love’.
I wish I’d gone to Fletcher Street.

Perhaps next time…

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Posted on May 16, 2012, in Art, Nostalgia, Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Fletcher Street’s riding community has been a part of the Philadelphia community for over 100 years. For many of those years, Fletcher Street was part of a larger urban horse community that numbered in over 50 stables throughout Philadelphia. Today, it is well known that the area surrounding Fletcher Street has increasingly struggled with unemployment and drugs overtaking the community; the men and boys of Fletcher Street have in turn struggled to maintain their horses, stables and way of life as conditions have become increasingly difficult.

  2. Totally charmed by this story about the The Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club from This American Life. In effort to engage area youth, The Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club led by longtime resident Ellis Ferrill, formed an inner-city youth horsemanship program in north Philadelphia, where local horsemen and “urban cowboys” teach local teens to ride and care for horses while encouraging self-respect, academic excellence and a appreciation for animals. “The unusual homegrown community program provides children and youth with positive ways to spend their leisure time outdoors. Horses serve as a draw, attracting and engaging a committed group of youth”. These youth are not the only ones whose lives have irrevocably changed by the kindness of this youth organization, the horses purchased by The Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club gives horses a second chance at life, that would likely otherwise be killed.

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