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IHSA Horses Headed to Washington DC for Presidential Inaugural Parade

(Fairfield, CT) January 9, 2017 - The reins of power in Washington, DC will change on January 20 with the 58th Presidential Inauguration Parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. More than 3,000 organizations applied for the honor of marching in the parade; 40 were selected, including nine equestrian organizations. Two IHSA Zone 3 Region 5 coaches will also make an historic mark that day by providing horses for Presidential Inauguration activities: IHSA Region 5 president

(Fairfield, CT) January 9, 2017 - The reins of power in Washington, DC will change on January 20 with the 58th Presidential Inauguration Parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. More than 3,000 organizations applied for the honor of marching in the parade; 40 were selected, including nine equestrian organizations. Two IHSA Zone 3 Region 5 coaches  will also make an historic mark that day by providing horses for Presidential Inauguration activities: IHSA Region 5 president

Bryan Bradley (Villanova University) is providing four horses from Granite Springs Stable in Maryland; coach Maria Metz (Valley Forge Military Academy & College) is providing eight from VFMA&C. “Valley Forge Military Academy & College has a strong equestrian tradition, dating back to the school's establishment in 1928,” said Metz, who has been with the Pennsylvania college since 2010 and coaches its IHSA and IEA riding teams. “Valley Forge horses were invited because of

The First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry (www.firsttroop.com), the oldest continuously serving cavalry military unit in the nation. The Troop’s mounted Escort Platoon has provided 57 Presidential Escorts, including four to George Washington, as bodyguards during theRevolutionary War.”

The eight IHSA hunt seat team horses from VFMA&C that will appear in the Inaugural Paradeare: Belle (Warmblood mare, 10), Cash (Thoroughbred gelding, 19), Justin (Thoroughbred gelding, 22), RC (Appaloosa gelding, 22), Gwen (Warmblood mare, 12), Brumby (Warmblood gelding, 19), Beetle (Quarter Horse gelding, 24) and 11 year old registered Paint gelding, Woodstock Tick Tock, aka Connor.

The horses going from Granite Springs Stables are Rumble and Flash, 18, an IHSA hunt seat Open level Off-Track Thoroughbred; Rolex, 22, an IHSA Beginner to Open level Off-Track Thoroughbred; Lily, 16, a Novice to Intermediate Off-Track Thoroughbred mare; and a 14 year old non-IHSA Missouri Fox Trotter named Chance.

Over the weeks ahead, the dozen horses destined for the parade will go to VFMA&C to be freshly body-clipped, have their manes pulled, and ensure that all parade tack is cleaned, polished and shined before their January 19 departure. “Myself, VF helpers and Troopers will meet the horses at the Prince George Equestrian Center on Pennsylvania Avenue in Upper Marlboro, MD. All horses participating in the Inaugural parade must stay at Prince George for security purposes Thursday night,” said Metz. “Paperwork has been pretty standard: a current Coggins and health certificates.

“The more unusual paperwork has included borium shoe certification and a euthanasia consent form for each horse participating. Human background checks have been pretty intense. We had to be cleared by the United States Secret Service if we are involved in the parade in any shape or form.”

Shoeing protocol in preparation for their appearance in the parade includes all horses having fresh shoes with high borium or carbide studs applied to toe and heel sections and, upon their arrival, inspection by the USSS and National Park Service. Metz credits Jay Flynn CJF, VFMA&C farrier for over 25 years, with guiding her “along the shoeing process because he shod horses for our 43rd President, George W. Bush and the first Inaugural Parade for President Clinton. He says the number of horses participating in those days was around 30 head.”

“There have been a lot of logistics, planning and organizing going into this,” coach Metz said. “We’ve added another lesson day for the Troop so they are riding Wednesdays and Saturdays, with usually a dozen or more troopers in a lesson.”

The tradition of an Inaugural parade dates back to the very first Inauguration, when George Washington took the oath of office on April 30, 1789, in New York City. The first organized parade occurred in 1809, at the Inauguration of James Madison. A troop of cavalry from Georgetown escorted him to the Capitol and, after taking the oath of office, Madison sat in review of nine companies of militia. Future Inaugurations saw military escorts grow more elaborate. William H. Harrison's parade in 1841 featured floats and for the first time, military companies from outside the Washington, D.C. area accompanied the President-elect to the Capitol. Citizens clubs, political clubs, military bands, and groups of college students also marched, setting future precedent.

For more about the Inaugural Parade, click http://www.inaugural.senate.gov/daysevents/inaugural-parade.

For more about the IHSA, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its 1967 founding, and IHSA National Championships, May 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, clickwww.IHSAinc.com.