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Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard displays history, heritage

By Patti Geistfeld | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | November 10, 2015

Crowds cheered as troopers dressed in Civil War period uniforms rode and jumped their horses over obstacles as they attacked balloons with vintage sabers, rifles and pistols during three performances at the Fall Apple Day Festival, Sept 26.

The heritage and history of the cavalry goes back to the 1800s and is demonstrated by the riders and horses of today’s Commanding General Mounted Color Guard demonstration team. They recreate the skills of the American Horse Soldier.

The riders are trained to ride, jump and shoot while the horses are trained to remain calm during noise and chaos and to trust the guidance of their rider.

The riders are referred to simply as troopers and are Army Soldiers ranking from privates to officers.

Trooper Ben Sparks was the senior rider and Commander of the Troops for the day. He has been in the CGMC for one-and-a-half years.

“It is a major honor to be in the Color Guard,” said Sparks.

The CGMCG team demonstrate their horsemanship for professional rodeos, community events, parades, school groups and official ceremonies. They have traveled and performed at events such as the Chicago Memorial Day parade and the Presidential Inauguration parade.

Trooper Nicole Fox is a human resource specialist in the Army, but comes from a background of riding horses as she grew up. She has been with the CGMCG for three -and-a-half years and does office work for the team. Now she also rides in the demonstrations. This was her second performance with the team.

“I love it”, said Fox. “It’s new and exciting every time. I ride Boomerang and he is an awesome horse.”

She also said it is important to work together as a team with your horse so you build confidence together. That way when he gets scared he trusts me to guide him.

After the performance troopers take their horses to the side of the ring. They answer questions and pose for pictures while the horses receive some praise and attention from the audience.

“I like how fast they can go,” said Cole Meyer, son of Doris Meyer attendees to Apple Day Festival from Hannover, Kansas.

 

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