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Horse Play

A Clydesdale hoofs it for art's sake

by Michael Betzold

Published in November, 2008

To Ted Kennedy, riding a Clydesdale around Kerrytown is a form of performance art.

His performance atop Duncan, on the afternoon following Election Day, was a crowd-pleaser.

Duncan's literally a ton of horse, rescued from owners in the Upper Peninsula who couldn't afford to keep feeding him. He belongs to Dexter Township's Chamberlin Animal Rides, which also set up a small petting zoo with an alpaca, some goats, and a chicken in Kennedy's front yard on Kingsley Street.

All afternoon students from Community High and neighbors and passers-by got free access to the animals, including rides up and down the block on Duncan.

Kennedy, who makes short films and takes photos, had some of the rides videotaped, including his own late-afternoon jaunt down North Fourth Avenue and past the Washtenaw County building on North Main.

He says some people are disgusted by his usual photos of things like road kill, so he tried this to get a different reaction.

"I'm also interested in community, and urban and rural contrasts," he notes. The contrast between latte drinkers outside the People's Food Co-op and a groom following behind Duncan with a manure bucket was vivid.

Duncan customarily gives rides at kids' birthday parties, but he didn't seem to mind being an avant-garde movie star for a day-nor the grass to eat along Kingsley.

Photo by Katie Whitney     (end of article)

[Originally published in November, 2008.]

 




 
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