Horses Appear in Inaugural Celebrations

The President's Inaugural Parade has a long tradition of including horses in the festivities, and this year was no different. With more than 200 horses representing 10 teams from throughout the United States, riders helped make this historic celebration memorable. Participants spanned the spectrum from Culver Academies, which made its 15th appearance (their first was in 1913 for Woodrow Wilson), to the Southern Ohio Ladies Aside's first.

The McCrossan Boys Ranch of South Dakota brought their four-horse draft hitch team to the Nation's capital. The 54-year-old school for at-risk youth uses horses in their education program to develop confidence and equine skills.

"We brought 16 boys here," said ranch Spokesperson Christy Menning. "In order to come to the parade the students had to write essays and get letters of recommendation from teachers as well as apply. We paid for the trip through donations from people throughout the Midwest. We're very proud to represent South Dakota."

As the most experienced group, Culver Academies' team comprised the boys' 75-horse Black Horse Troop and the girls' 24-horse Equestriennes. Members of the team from the leadership-oriented private school based in Indiana have never known a parade to be so large and security so intense. Equestrienne co-captain Samantha Costas said it was worth it.

"We had to wait hours before we could begin the parade, and so we were frozen! But when we saw the lights of the viewing stand ahead we forgot all that," Costas said. "I called the order for 'eyes right' and there was the president. He nodded at us and his wife waved."

Other equine teams participating included Comfort Carriages, Crow Nation of Montana, Freedom Riders, Fort Riley Kansas (First Division), Tempel Lipizzans, the U.S. Border Patrol, and the Michigan Multi-Jurisdictional Mounted Police.

About the Author

Sharon Biggs Waller

Sharon Biggs Waller is a freelance writer for equine ­science and human interest publications. Her work has appeared in several publications and on several websites, and she is a classical dressage instructor.

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