BARSTOW – The US Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard (USMCMCG) will carry the US flag in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Monday, Jan. 2., in Pasadena.
Following the “Never on a Sunday” tradition, this year’s 134th Rose Parade brings residents and visitors together on Monday to “watch grand floats covered in flowers, spirited marching bands, and high-stepping equestrian units.”
USMCMCG, stationed in Barstow, is the only equestrian unit that carries the American flag during the Rose Parade.
The group was formed in 1967 and is the last remaining mounted unit in the Marine Corps.
Marines for the Mounted Color Guard are selected for the billet of stablemen for exhibiting the Corps values and ability to present the flag in an appropriate manner.
Horses in the unit are adopted from the Bureau of Land Management’s Adopt a Horse and Burro Program.
The horses in the unit are wild Mustangs.
Initially the stablemen would find wild horses on their own and train them. However, adopting the horses through the Bureau of Land Management eventually became the official process of acquiring horses.
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Once adopted, the horses are trained to a standard of performance by the horse trainer and an experienced stablemen.
In January 1985, USMCMCG made their first appearance in the Rose Parade – it is one of the largest events they participate in. They are the first military unit to lead the parade.
The unit also participates in events including Marine Week, the Mardi Gras Parade, and the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo.
For more information about the Tournament of Roses parade visit https://www.visitpasadena.com/events/annual-events/rose-parade-guide/