The Story of the Game Bird Horse

The Game Bird Horse
The Game Bird Horse

The New England Carousel Museum located on 95 Riverside Ave. in the heart of Bristol is on a mission. This beautiful museum has one of the largest collections of carousel art in the country and wants to welcome a new horse to their magnificent collection.

Located in a 33,000 square foot restored silk mill factory building, the museum preserves and displays carousel art, which is fast becoming a vanishing art form of Americana. Their mission is dedicated to the acquisition, restoration and preservation of operating carousels, and carousel memorabilia as well as the creation of new carousel material for the education and the pleasure of visitors.

The latest quest of the New England Carousel Museum is the acquisition and continued preservation of the Game Bird Horse. Recently, the museum was informed by the estate of Marianne Stevens that she had bequeathed a spectacular jumper horse, named the Game Bird Horse to the Carousel Museum Collection. Marianne, the co-author of Painted Ponies decided to leave this horse to the New England Carousel Museum’s collection because it once rode on a Connecticut Carousel.

The Game Bird Horse will add immeasurably to the Museum’s collection. John Zalar, a carver of great note for the carousel manufacturer Charles Looff, created the horse. The Game Bird horse has a masterfully carved “peek-a-boo” mane and two realistic quail at the back of its saddle and many other beautiful details.

In the spring of 1946, the Game Bird Horse began whirling on the carrousel at Ocean Beach Park in New London Connecticut before Marianne Stevens eventually acquired it.

To find out more about how to get the Game Bird Horse back to Connecticut from Roswell, New Mexico visit because every donation brings this wonderful gift to Connecticut closer to its’ new home at the New England Carousel Museum.