Just how a change in government in the US will affect the equestrian world remains to be seen, but the horse will not been forgotten on January 20, when the traditional Inaugural Parade marks the beginning of the transfer of power in Washington, DC.
Nine equine organisations are among just 40 to be selected to march in the parade, with more than 3000 applying to be part of festivities.
Incoming president Donald Trumps has strong links with the equestrian scene, hosting the Trump Invitational Grand Prix for several years at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
The most recognized equines in the parade will be the Caisson Platoon from Fort Myer, Virginia. In addition to their well-known, solemn duty of military funerals, the Caisson Platoon also participates in historic processions performed by the Old Guard, as well as the notable honor of being included in Presidential Inaugural Parades.
The Michigan Multi-Jurisdiction Mounted Police Drill Team & Color Guard, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, will be participating in the Inaugural Parade for the third time. The Michigan Horse Council (MHC) will also be well represented, as MHC President Col. Don Packard, US Army Retired, will carry the MHC flag in the parade. This is also the first time a person not a member of mounted law enforcement has ridden with the group.
“We are excited to be coming to Washington, DC,” said Col. Packard. “There are 23 riders in this group, and they are bringing along a support staff of another 20 people who are also honored to be a part of such a historic event.”
The 1st Infantry Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard of Ft. Riley, Kansas, will also be participating. Established in 1992, the Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard (CMCG) provides a link to Fort Riley’s historic past. Troopers and horses of this unit are outfitted in the uniforms, accessories and equipment of the Civil War period. From privates to officers, these men and women recreate American Horse Soldier at community events, parades, and official ceremonies.
At the American Horse Council’s recent Coalition of State Horse Council’s Fall meeting in October, the CMCG did a demonstration for meeting attendees at Kansas State University and then a short meet/greet with Q&A about their program.
“We are pleased to see the equine community being well represented during the Inaugural Parade,” said AHC President Julie Broadway.
“Equines were an integral part of the foundation of the United States, and Presidents throughout history have appreciated and admired the grandeur of the horse.”