The members of Culver’s Friesian Mounted Color Guard will have the best seats in Churchill Downs for the 35th running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3. It is the color guard’s second trip to the Breeders’ Cup.
They will begin each day of the two-day event in front of the historic Churchill Downs grandstand, presenting the colors before thousands of race fans in Louisville, Ky. It is the second time the color guard has been invited to participate at the Breeders’ Cup. The first performance will be at 2:49 p.m., Friday, and the second presentation will be at 11:26 a.m., Saturday.
Riding will be commander Marshall Song ’19 (Beijing), Lars Biedenbender ’20 (Spotsylvania, Va.), John Wakeland ’19 (Austin, Texas), Tom Ni ’19 (Shanghai, China), Chris Owen ’17 (Sugar Land, Texas), and Justin Jones ’19 (Pickerington, Ohio).
When the races were conducted at Keeneland in Lexington two years ago, the Troopers presented the colors during the opening ceremonies. Those races included the historic run by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who retired after the race. The boys also got to meet American Pharoah’s jockey Victor Espinoza and veteran jockey Kent DesOrmeaux.
Organized in 2012, the Friesian Mounted Color Guard has also appeared in the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago; the World Horse Expo in Harrisburg, Pa.; the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade; opening day ceremonies at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill.; St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Bend; the Grand Floral Parade during the Blossomtime Festival in St Joseph, Mich.; and the Blueberry Festival Parade in Plymouth, Ind.