Mystery “Cowboy Family” on horseback revealed!

It may have taken six months, but the mystery “cowboy family” on horseback in NYC’s Central Park referred to in our post A “cowboy family” on horseback spotted in New York City’s Central Park, has been solved!   Just as we were losing all hope of verifying the story and getting to the bottom of things, thanks to the power of the internet, we tracked down the riders.  To be fair, they actually reached out to us after seeing and reading our article.  On behalf of FillyFans everywhere, we thank them again for doing so.  Not only because this story was so bizarre and we wanted our own answers, but because when we first published the article, we got all types of feedback.  Some readers were simply amazed, while others were downright skeptical.  They said “unbelievable” as in, “we don’t believe you” LOL!!  Without pictures to back up the story, who could blame the skeptics?  After all, the chances of seeing a group of people in full cowboy gear (hats, chaps, lassos, etc.) riding around in New York City’s Central Park, on horseback, on any given day, is about as likely as seeing a black swan!

Well, not only did we catch up with Cliff Schadt Jr., one member of the “cowboy family” for a quick interview (which we will share below), but for all you skeptics and curious FillyFans out there, we now have Cliff’s pictures of that day too!  Those of you familiar with New York City’s Central Park will notice the landmarks in the background of the pictures, further proving their authenticity.  Along for the ride that day, and filling out the “cowboy family,” were Greg Robinson (winner of the 2011 Extreme Cowboy Race in Pomona), his son Bucky Robinson, and Cliff’s girlfriend Danielle.  As you will read below, this wasn’t a stunt, ploy for attention, or a hidden camera prank.  These were genuine cowboys and cowgirls out for a ride.  Greg and his son are from Texas, (not a surprise to find cowboys from there),  but as it turns out, there are also legitimate cowboys living in the suburbs of Manhattan!  Who knew? Cliff lives on the Eastern end of Long Island, a couple of hours outside of the city and his  “life as a cowboy” sounds like it’s worthy of its own book.  Read on for our interview with Cliff, and the answers to the questions we’ve all been wondering…

Was this your first time in Central Park dressed up in full cowboy gear?
This was my first time in the park, but I and the rest of my friends with me that day wear cowboy clothes every day.  
 Surely he means his friends outside of New York right?  There’s no big hidden community of cowboys on Long Island.  Or is there?? hmm….
What was your family doing in the park that day…photo shoot, movie, pleasure ride?
It was actually my girlfriend, who is 6th precinct NYPD, and two friends from Texas who happened to be visiting for a week.  We were told horses were welcome in the park, so we decided an adventure was in order.  We loaded four horses onto the trailer and headed West from Eastern Long Island, where I live and work as a horse trainer. 
Did you catch that?  “Trailer,” as in one trailer big enough to fit four horses.  We know the mean streets of New York City’s Manhattan (with those crazy cab drivers and narrow turns).  Something tells me you could have a second career as a driving instructor!  Hats off to you for maneuvering your truck around the city with the weight and girth of four horses.
How did you get your horses to the city that day and what did you do with the trailer(s)? 
We found a spot just inside the park to park the trailer. 
Just like that huh?  We once circled around for an hour and fifteen minutes looking for a spot in our smart car 🙂parking-470654_640
Are you connected to the story about the cowboy riding along Broadway on the Upper West Side of Manhattan early in the morning?
No ma’am I’m not.  I’d love to hear that story though…  
Yea, us too…
Where are you originally from and how did a cowboy end up on Long Island?
I grew up in a family of horse trainers on a farm out in mattituck (north fork of LI) although my family was hunter jumper riders as far back as I can remember I wanted to be a cowboy. I wore boots and a hat every day and longed to be out West. I home schooled my junior and senior year which enabled me to travel West and start working for ranches.  By the time I was 20, I was living full-time in Oregon and from there, I made my way all over the West including Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, and Texas. I spent about 12 years working out there and learning my trade before I returned to Long Island in about 2012. I currently train horses up and down the East Coast.  I spend the majority of the year here in New York, and part of the winter in Ocala Florida. I had a lot of great adventures while I traveled all over the U.S., but that’s a whole Nother story….  
I bet!  Have you sold the rights yet?  You throw in a “love twist” and you got yourself a Hollywood screenplay my friend. 
What kind of horse training do you offer and how can people get in touch with you?
I work with all types of horses from Western to Dressage and Hunter Jumper and pretty much anything in between. My specialty is young and problem horses.  I have a very eclectic approach, as I’ve had many influences in my style of horsemanship in my life.  My goal is to have a calm, respectful, responsive partner.  Probably the easiest way to connect with me is on Facebook under Cliff Schadt Jr. or Common Thread Horsemanship. 
Thanks Cliff (and friends)!

Central Park Horse Back Riding


Real Cowboys In Central Park


Click here to read the original article: “A Cowboy Family On Horseback Spotted In New York City’s Central Park


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6 comments to this article

  1. Saddle

    on June 18, 2016 at 9:33 am -

    Well New York City’s Central Park was originally designed with horses and carriages in mind. There are bridal paths that extend through the park. Unfortunately, since there are so few horses using the bridal paths these days, pedestrians have taken them over. When horses/riders actually do use the Central Park bridal paths, they often come into conflict with the runners who prefer to run on the bridal paths because they provide a softer surface (which is better for their feet and knees). There have been stories of runners and riders yelling at one another. And of course, when a horse happens to do its “business” on the bridal path and leaves a “present” for the runners, the Central Park runners aren’t too happy!

  2. Regina

    on June 18, 2016 at 2:45 am -

    My husband, a friend of ours and I have ridden in Central Park a couple of years ago. We met up with a group from the NYSHC and were given a guided tour with the NYC Parks Police. It was an awesome day 🙂

  3. Cathy

    on June 17, 2016 at 6:17 pm -

    Parking the trailer has always been the big issue for me. I’d go to Central Park in a NY minute – from Long Island.

  4. Saddle

    on June 17, 2016 at 9:18 am -

    Thanks Kimberly! You can either click on the shirt in the article, or scroll to “FillyGirl Apparel” on our site.

  5. kimberly c

    on June 17, 2016 at 9:16 am -

    great story. how can i get one of those adorable cowgirl tshirts for my daughter at the bottom of the other article?

  6. Shannon D

    on June 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm -

    I must admit, I was a bit skeptical myself, but seeing is believing!

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