By Amanda Kim Stairrett
Killeen Daily Herald
The 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment is scheduled to participate in the 118th Tournament of Roses Parade on Monday, in Pasadena, Calif., according to information from the division.
This is the sixth year the detachment will ride in the parade, said Sgt. 1st Class Troy Gorman, the unit's senior noncommissioned officer. Eleven riders; the wagon team; Larry Borth, the unit's civilian trainer; and Buddy, the unit's mascot, are set to ride in Monday's parade.
The Horse Detachment also participated Friday in the Tournament of Roses Equifest at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. All of the equestrian participants in the parade – which include the All American Donkey and Mule Riders, Banuelos Charro Team, Gypsy Horse Group, Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard, Medieval Times, New Buffalo Soldiers and Wells Fargo, also attend the Equifest to show off their array of talents.
The Horse Detachment performed a version of their Drill and Ceremony, where riders demonstrated riding and weapons tactics.
The soldiers left Fort Hood the day after Christmas to make the more than 20-hour drive to California. Because they were hauling horses, the group made several overnight stops along the way. Gorman said the unit received warm welcomes during the entire trip and said they were "taken care of really well."
The troopers always look forward to this trip, Gorman said.
While in California, the unit's horses are kept in the same stables used to house the Los Angeles Police Department's horses. Today, the soldiers will go to the stables to prepare for the parade. They will clean all the equipment and, if it's warm enough, give the horses baths, Gorman said.
The unit will then travel to the site where equestrian entries prepare for the parade, and there the soldiers will ring in the new year. They will wake up at 4 or 5 a.m. to prepare for the parade, which is schedule to start at 10 a.m. central standard time. The Rose Parade will be broadcast on ABC, NBC, Univision, HGTV, Travel Channel and Discovery HD, according to http://www.tournamentofroses.com. It is also seen in more than 150 international territories.
It means a lot to the 1st Cavalry, Fort Hood and the Army for the Horse Detachment to participate in the parade, Gorman said.
"It let's the world know we don't just drive helicopters and drive tanks," he said, because the detachment illustrates how the Army upholds and values tradition.
Over the years, the Detachment has appeared in three presidential inaugural parades, five Tournament of Roses Parades, the 1984 World's Fair and thousands of state and local events, according to information from the division.
The detachment is comprised of two commissioned officers, 38 enlisted soldiers and one civilian. The unit prides itself on self sufficiency and regularly sends its enlisted members to advanced civilian-run school programs where they learn the skills needed to become farriers, saddlemakers and bootmakers for the detachment, according to information from the division.
For more information on the 1st Cavalry and the Horse Cavalry Detachment, visit http://www.hood.army.mil/1stcavdiv/. To find out more about the Tournament of Roses, visit http://www.tournamentofroses.com/.