The Black Horse Troop and the Equestriennes officially had their last practice this morning before the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade.
This is an important year for Culver Academies because it's the 100th anniversary of the school’s first inaugural appearance in 1913.
While this is the Black Horse Troops 16th appearance overall, it is only the Equestriennes 7th.
Even though the Equestriennes got a late start, their involvement has become part of the tradition.
“Well when the girls were first able to go in 1985 it was huge, it was you know, such an event for girls to be able to participate and be really part of the school and part of the program. So from then on we've always been able to go and sometimes we have to remind the girls of the history” says Equestriennes coach Lynn Rasch.
Rasch has been the Equestriennes coach for 26 years and no one knows better than her that no matter how hard you plan, something can always go wrong when preparing for the inaugural parade.
“In 1985 we had to practice in 30 below wind chill and after 45 minutes the students had hypothermia, some kids had to go to the hospital, some had frost bite, and unfortunately they had to cancel the parade the very next day because of those weather conditions because they didn't think anybody could be out there very long” says Rasch.
And with high hopes the weather will cooperate, she believes nothing will go wrong this time.
“I think we have prepared for most contingencies. I keep looking at the weather every single day and right now it’s like 37, 39, so that’s bearable” says Rasch.
Some of the girls will be prepared for the cold with long underwear, under armor and of course hand warmers, but even without all of the protection nothing is going to stop these girls from participating in the parade for their very first time.
“Walking down Pennsylvania Avenue and seeing the president will make it worth all of the hours” says Equestriennes Captain Eleanor Logue.
“I was defiantly really excited. I was like Lilian Lilian we get to go! And I gave her a big hug and we were just really excited knowing that we both would have the same experience” says other Equestriennes Captain Natalie Hogan.
And even after seven parades Rasch says each time is completely different and the excitement is always there.
“So on the day of the parade and the excitement, I mean we have to be there hours ahead of time but this excitement just builds and when they see the president of the United States as they ride by, they are just amazed at that opportunity that so few people get to take part in this and that is just a fantastic experience.”
The parade is on Monday, so the group will be leaving this Friday around 4:30 in the morning.
Both the Black Horse Troop and the Equestriennes will be sure to stand out in the parade because out of 147 horses total in the parade, they make up 82 of them.