Horses, for years, have played a vital role in parades across the country, and it's no different for the Rose Parade.
For more than 120 years, riders have thrilled crowds with their colorful pageantry at the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. For many in attendance, the most vivid memory is of the spectacular equestrian unit from Long Beach.
Since 1947, the Long Beach Mounted Police have appeared in the parade, even leading it on numerous occasions.
This year the mounted police will again be marching down Colorado Boulevard today.
The golden palomino horses, sterling silver saddles and American flags that are trademarks of the Long Beach Mounted Police will be seen parading on the thoroughfare in Pasadena. Spectators can delight at the beauty of the white-maned horses in their hand-crafted saddles, according to the group's website.
The riders will each be colorfully dressed in a Western-style outfit complete with a 10-gallon hat and an old-fashioned six-shooter pistol.
The Long Beach riders will be one of 21 equestrian groups participating in the 2012 parade.
More than 100 members strong, the Long Beach Mounted Police appear in about 16 parades and events each year and are always in great demand across the country, their website says. The group has appeared in hundreds of cities throughout the United States, including the states of Hawaii, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Oregon and two presidential inaugurations in Washington, D.
The members are all volunteers with the police department and serve as goodwill ambassadors throughout the world. Many of the members have also ridden in local and regional parades such as Long Beach's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, Veterans Day Parade and Daisy Lane Parade.
For more information on the mounted police, visit www.longbeachmountedpolice.com.