Black Horse Troop mark 14th Inaugural

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2005

By Staff
CULVER, Ind. - The Culver Black Horse Troop and Equestriennes at the Culver Academies have received and accepted an invitation to participate in the Bush-Cheney Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Local students currently attending Culver who will be riding in the event include senior Benjamin Lindborg, of Niles.
This will mark the 14th time the Troop, the boys' unit, has participated in an inaugural parade, and it will be the Equestriennes', the girls' unit, fifth trip.
Culver's participation in the parade is a tradition stretching back more than 90 years to President Woodrow Wilson's inaugurals in 1913 and 1917. In both parades, the Black Horse Troop served as the personal escort of former Indiana Governor - and then Vice President - Thomas Marshall.
The Black Horse Troop made its third appearance during President Dwight D. Eisenhower's second inaugural in 1957, and then participated in every inaugural parade through President George Bush's and Vice President Dan Quayle's in 1989. It returned to the parade in 1997 for President Bill Clinton's second inauguration and also performed in President George W. Bush's first inaugural parade in 2001.
Head of School for the Culver Academies. "We always hope that our Black Horse Troop and Equestriennes will be able to participate because of the history Culver has with this ceremonial event and the quality of performance we provide."
The Academies will take 62 Troopers and 23 Equestriennes to the parade.
Six trucks of horses will leave Culver a day before the students fly to Washington for the four-day trip. The students are scheduled to leave Culver on Jan. 18, and return to Culver late on Jan. 22. The Culver Academies provide one of the last remaining cavalry schools in existence, and the Black Horse Troop is the largest mounted unit in the United States. The Troop was founded in 1897, when the Culver family purchased 16 mounts from the 1st Cleveland Cavalry. Earlier, H.H. Culver, the school's founder, had heard of the Cleveland unit's participation in President William McKinley's inaugural parade. The Lancer Platoon of the Black Horse Troop represents the 23 most elite riders of the Troop, which features 72 members this school year. The Black Horse Troop has appeared in more inaugural parades than any other private or public high school contingent. It has had the honor of escorting Queen Elizabeth II of England, the King and Queen of Denmark, and the late Emperor Hirohito of Japan during several royal visits to the United States.
Since 1981, the Troop has been joined at many of its appearances by the Equestriennes, the mounted drill team of Culver Girls Academy.
The Equestriennes made their Presidential Inaugural Parade debut in 1989 for incoming President George H.W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle.
The Equestriennes would have ridden in the 1985 Presidential Inaugural Parade for President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush, had sub-zero temperatures not canceled the event.
Membership in the Equestriennes is reserved for the best riders in Culver Girls Academy, which was founded in 1971. Twenty to twenty-five girls are selected each year for membership in this Honor Unit, with the number currently at 23.