Politics & Government

Kentuckians, including one equine, participate in inaugural festivities

Bojangles will participate in the inaugural parade Friday. Trained by Mary-Courtney Gaddini as part of Asbury University’s Service Mount Training Program, he is now part of Culver Academies’ Black Horse Troop.
Bojangles will participate in the inaugural parade Friday. Trained by Mary-Courtney Gaddini as part of Asbury University’s Service Mount Training Program, he is now part of Culver Academies’ Black Horse Troop. Asbury University

A horse trained at Asbury University will be in the spotlight Friday during the presidential inaugural parade.

Bojangles, who was part of Asbury’s Service Mount Training Program, is now part of the Black Horse Troop at Culver Academies in Indiana. Asbury said in a news release that Bojangles will escort the president as the lead horse in the troop.

Asbury’s training program for service mounts allows equine studies students to get training experience while preparing horses to become police mounts or to serve in other capacities.

Known during his time at Asbury as Gallant Victor, Bojangles was trained by Asbury student Mary-Courtney Gaddini, who will watch for him in the televised coverage of the event.

Gaddini said in the news release that she “teared up a little bit” when she learned that he would be in the parade.

“When I was working with him, he was kind of small and scraggly, and not many people thought he would amount to much,” she said. “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.”

Kentuckians were participating in the inaugural events in other ways, too.

Johnson County native Marlana VanHoose, who sang the national anthem at the Republican National Convention last year, was booked for the inaugural festivities.

VanHoose, who has been blind since birth, sang at the Voices of the People Concert at the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday afternoon. She also was scheduled to sing and play piano Saturday at the National Prayer Service at Washington’s National Cathedral, she said on her Facebook page.

And the Kentucky National Guard sent military police to Washington, D.C., to provide security support during the weekend’s events.

They were sworn in and deputized Thursday by the Metropolitan Police Department.

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