In his State of the City Address last week, Mayor Mitch Landrieu praised the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission for the growth of this year’s summer youth programs, which include 33 youth camps, seven teen camps and an expanded summer jobs program. For parents and guardians seeking something a bit more rural, it’s also possible — and right within New Orleans city limits.
Located in the northernmost reaches of City Park, Equest Farm is straight out of a Laura Ingalls Wilder novel.
“One of the neat things is when you walk onto this property, you go, ‘Wow, this looks like the country,’” says Leslie Kramer, the owner of Equest Farm. “And we’re 15 minutes from the French Quarter, 15 minutes from downtown, and 20 minutes from the airport.”
Growing up in Lakeview, Kramer spent countless hours at City Park’s riding stables and became the owner of Equest Farm in 2001. She believes riding and interacting with horses shouldn’t be exclusively reserved for the wealthy.
“This is a public facility,” Kramer says. “It is not a place for private people to have their horses and they don’t want people to come in and pet them. You know, that’s not what this is.”
After Hurricane Katrina, Equest Farm faced massive renovations. Leslie Kramer saw this as an opportunity to expand the facility and reach a greater population. This Saturday, Equest Farm will unveil these renovations at the 8th Annual Tails but no Black Tie fundraiser for City Park and is extending the invitation to all.
“This year we’re opening it to the public,” she says. “So, for $15 for an adult and $10 for a child you can sit in the bleachers on the other side of the ring. And we’ll have a concession stand and we’ll have a bounce house, and they’ll be able to come and tour the facility to see all of our new renovations… and to pet our horses.”
There will also be a Grand Prix Horse jumping competition, and a little more.
“This year for the first time, we are having donkey races, which are hilarious, because the donkeys are not particularly good citizens,” explains Kramner. “That’s something for people to laugh at, because they tend to be naughty.”
This news content made possible with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.