BURBANK, CA (KSWO) –Horses have been a part of the Rose Parade since it started in 1890, and the Fort Sill Artillery Half Section is one of a handful of equestrian units performing this year.
The Fort Sill Artillery Half Section performed at the EquestFest demonstration Tuesday night the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. The event sees most of the equestrian teams from the parade performing five-minute routines. But getting there took some time.
The group left Fort Sill early Saturday morning so they could make it to Pasadena, California, in time for the show. The three-day trip took the team to El Paso, Texas, before taking I-10 to California in an effort to dodge as much of the winter storm as possible.
"We had good traffic, but a lot of snow and ice in El Paso," Jerry Stuck, half-section chief, said. "At one point, we were down to 10 mph just west of Las Cruces, New Mexico. But after that, it was clear sailing."
The team says they carry all of their own hay and feed, and made 10 stops for full and to take care of the horses. Each stop meant feeding and watering the horses, and walking them.
Once they arrived in Burbank, they learned that one of the horses pawed the inside of its trailer during the entire trip and had to be checked out by a vet.
"Halverson is not a good traveler. He pawed inside the trailer the whole way. He was sore and swollen but there are no permanent injuries," said Stuck.
Halverson was sore and swollen, but he was able to continue on and perform in the show.
The theme of the 127th Rose Parade is "Find Your Adventure." This year's grand marshal is award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns. Burns is known for directing and producing documentaries covering the history of the United State.
The Fort Sill Artillery Half Section will be in the parade alongside other equestrian units including: Fort Hood's 1st Cavalry Horse Detachment, the U.S. Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard and the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdales.
The parade starts at 8:00 a.m. Jan. 1, 2016.