Horses in the Inaugural Parade


Every four years, Washington, D.C., holds the presidential inauguration to formally begin a president’s term in office. The inaugural parade has been part of the day since the beginning of Thomas Jefferson’s second term in 1805, and horses have been and remain a part of this American tradition.

In that respect, 2017’s presidential inauguration will be no different. Horse entries from across the country will be participating in the parade, which begins after the 11:30 a.m. swearing-in ceremony.

Here are some of the equine entries to watch for in the parade.

Culver Academy Black Horse Troop and Equestriennes

Participating in the inaugural parade is a long tradition for Indiana’s Culver Academies, which has sent riders on the school’s black horses to 17 inaugurations, the first of which was in 1913. This year will be the sixth consecutive appearance for Culver; they’ve been in every parade since Bill Clinton’s second inauguration in 1997. This year, Culver is sending 80 riders plus 12 alternates who will help care for the horses and prepare them for the parade.

Fort Hood 1st Calvary Division Horse Detachment

Central Texas will be represented by 11 horses and riders (plus one pack horse led from the ground) from the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment. Typically the detachment also includes a mule-drawn wagon, but according to the Killeen Daily Herald, the mules will stay home as they are not allowed in the inaugural parade. This will be the group’s fourth time participating in an inaugural parade. The detachment also participated in the Tournament of Roses parade in California earlier this month.

Rio Grande Valley Sector Horse Patrol

Also from Texas, the Rio Grande Valley Horse Patrol from the U.S. Border Patrol will send eight riders to participate. The RGV Sector uses formerly wild Mustangs who receive their initial training through an inmate training program in Kansas City. This is the first inaugural parade appearance for the RGV Sector.

Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team

Sixteen riders from the Michigan-based Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team, along with plenty of on-the-ground supporters, will participate in their first inaugural parade this year. The group is multi-generational, with members ranging from age 7 to 60-plus, according to Harbor Country News.

Boone County Elite 4-H Equestrian Drill Team

Representing Kentucky, the young women of Burlington, Kentucky’s Boone County Elite 4-H Drill Team will be making the group’s first appearance at an inaugural parade. The team was created to give riders who can’t own a horse of their own a chance to ride and participate in equestrian activities. They used a GoFundMe campaign to help raise the funds needed to transport themselves and their horses to D.C.

Several other equestrian entries are scheduled to appear in the parade. Click here to see the full list.

Leslie Potter is a writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky.


  1. Most people have no idea of the training required to be a parade horse or the effort it takes to trailer a horse a long distance. These equestrian atheletes have had alot of time,effort and care put into them.


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