Community

Philadelphia’s Runaway I-95 Horse Gets A Name

Great news! Philadelphia's runaway I-95 horse has a name, but they need your help ...  You probably saw the video of the horse running along 95-North through Philadelphia. It happened in the early morning hours of Tuesday, February 20, 2024. You can watch it HERE. The nameless horse safely exited at Allegheny and was wrangled by Philadelphia police and returned, unharmed, to the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club (FSURC). The ordeal created quite a stir, even receiving national attention. It is a beautiful horse with a happy ending, but now it needs a name. So the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club did what they do. They turned to the kids.  Freeway or 95-North? According to Nicole Bryan, a staffer at FSURC, everyone at the club had an opinion about what the name should be. Their options were 95-North and Freeway. The club held a horseshoe throwing contest and Freeway won, although many of the kids say they will call him 95-North anyway. Who is the Fletcher Street Riding Club? Perhaps this is the first you are hearing of the Fletcher Street Riding Club. If so, I am proud to introduce you to this organization. I caught up with Nicole who told me the club houses 15 horses as well as a few other animals. Feed alone costs about $2.500 a month, and they also have to pay for insurance, manure removal, bedding, and other stable and maintenance supplies. Nicole said: Because we are self funded we always prioritized the horses needs and anything left over went to outings for the kids, whether it be a rodeo, or a camping trip, etc. we never charge the kids from our Community, as the purpose is to give them opportunities they otherwise couldn't have access to. It is a labor of love. While chatting with Nicole, I could feel the passion she has for this place and more remarkably, the people. Nicole shared stories and photos with me of staff and community volunteers who commit themselves to keeping Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club afloat. It is not easy work, but it is in their hearts, and that makes the difference. According to Nicole, some of the volunteers grew up riding at the club, so it is a generational impact they are committed to keeping alive! There was talk about how the horse got loose and concerns it was a result of vandalism. FSURC is hoping to install security cameras on the property. The problem? The club operates solely on donations and all the money at Fletcher Street goes to the care of the horses. All of it. Even the staff volunteers their time. That is why the press coverage has been "a blessing in disguise." Nicole said: Our mission has always been to preserve the history of Black Urban horsemanship, and also provide a safe, stable place for our community. You can help. If you would like to make a donation to FSURC, you can do so through its website, or by scanning this QR code: Donations will be used for: Horse feed, hay, grooming/care supplies (So. Much. Hay!) Medical costs for our horse family (Ellis has rescued horses his entire life.) Transportation (horses in the back) Building materials (repairs, wood for stalls/fences) Gardening supplies (new projects)