Asbury University Service Mount Leads Troop in Inaugural Parade

0
159
Asbury University Service Mount Horse leads troop in Inaugural Parade 1-20-17

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVQ) – Look closely on Inauguration Day and you’ll see an Asbury University-trained horse in the Inaugural Parade on Friday.

Bojangles, a service horse trained by Asbury student Mary-Courtney Gaddini ’18 through Asbury’s Service Mount Training Program, will escort the President of the United States as the lead horse in the world-renowned Culver Academies Black Horse Troop.

- Advertisement -

A student-driven program, Asbury’s Service Mount Training Program has trained horses for service work since 2001. It’s an incredible opportunity for Asbury Equine Studies students to earn training experience, and judging by the results, it’s a great opportunity for the horses too.

Asbury service mounts are serving all over North America, from San Francisco to Nova Scotia. On Friday, Bojangles — who was known as Gallant Victor at Asbury — will lead a troop with more than 100 years of history.

“To have the lead horse in the Inaugural Parade is very special for Asbury University, for the Equine Program and for our student trainers,” said Prof. Harold Rainwater, director of Asbury’s Equine Center. “He’s one of the younger horses they have, but he’s an amazing mammal that’s risen to the top.”

Gaddini says the Service Mount Training Program is an outstanding opportunity for Equine Studies majors to earn hands-on experience while making a difference in service programs across the U.S.

“You gain a lot of training knowledge in a low-key, supportive environment,” Gaddini said. “It’s really rewarding to watch these horses grow in their training. And when they move on to different things, like police units, or, in Victor’s case, a military school, you can see that your hard work paid off and you have a skill set you can take other places.”
Gaddini says she wishes she could be at the Inaugural Parade, but she’ll be watching on TV, keeping a sharp lookout for the horse she knows as Victor.

“When we sold him to Culver, I didn’t even know that they rode in the Inaugural Parade, or that Victor would have that chance,” Gaddini said. “When Harold sent me the email, I actually teared up a little bit. When I was working with him, he was kind of small and scraggly and not many people thought he would amount to much. But I believed in him, and selling him to Culver was one of the proudest moments of my life. And now that he’s going to be ridden in this national event, I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Previous articleGovernor Appoints Magistrate in Scott County
Next articleBig Blue Slam Blood Drive Next Week
mm
Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.