The Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) will have a hand in the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.
Or more accurately, make that a hoof.
Wild mustangs trained at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility (HCF) that are now used by military and border patrol groups will march in the ceremonial inauguration parade in Washington D.C. Friday.
Two or three of a group of Fort Riley soldiers who will participate in the parade will be riding mustangs trained at HCF. The fort’s 1st Infantry Division Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard is taking 13 horses in total for the parade. The commander leading the color guard will be riding one of the mustangs trained in the KDOC program.
In the same parade, eight mustangs trained at HCF will be ridden by U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Rio Grand Valley Sector. These horses are used in patrolling the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
The horses trained at the Hutchinson facility are wild mustangs captured on government land by the Bureau of Land Management. The KDOC wild horse and burro program, which operates under the auspices of Kansas Correctional Industries (KCI), employs offenders at HCF to provide initial training to the animals. The offenders at HCF help to make the wild horses useful for organizations and individuals who adopt them.
“It’s a great honor and very exciting to see horses that were trained here in our program participating in such a historic and important event,” said Dexter Hedrick, KCI horse program manager. ?”The offenders who work with the horses are taking great pride in knowing that they contributed to something so meaningful.”?
Nearly all the horses used in the Rio Grand Valley Sector come from the HCF program. A representative of HCF said that over the years more than 60 horses patrolling the border from Brownsville, Texas. to San Diego, Calif. were trained at Hutchinson.
The Presidential Inauguration Parade, which follows the swearing in of each new president, is a procession of ceremonial military regiments, citizens’ groups, marching bands, and floats. The parade up Washington D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue will be televised. The new president leads the parade as it travels from the U.S. Capitol to the White House, where he then reviews the rest of the parade as it passes.