When the Arlington Park Race Track hosts Derby Day on Saturday, May 6, Culver Academies’ Friesian Mounted Color Guard will be part of the ceremony. And the Craig Duchossois ’62 family is hosting a special celebration for Culver alumni and parents to honor the occasion that combines racing at Arlington with the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
You can learn more about and register to attend the Culver Club of Chicago Derby Day Event by clicking here. Registration ends April 28.
The color guard, under the command of Kevin Tai ’17 (Shanghai, China), is comprised of six Friesians. The Troopers will carry the colors during the opening ceremony and the national anthem, which will be performed by Culver Girls Academy sophomore Katarina Hone (Arlington, Va.).
Also riding are Justin Neely ’17 (Chicago), Sean Kim ’18 (Carmel, Ind.), Robson MacCartney ’17 (Bentonville, Ark.), Brian Krupp ’17 (Mishawaka, Ind.), and Manuel Flores ’17 (Mexico City). This is the third consecutive year the color guard has opened the season at Arlington, Horsemanship Director of Instruction Mark Waller said.
Standing more than 16 hands high and weighing over 1,500 pounds each, the all-black Friesians lead the Troop during Culver Military’s parades on Sunday. Waller said he wanted to use the Friesians to create a one-breed mounted color guard similar to the United States Marine Corps Palomino Mustangs. The Friesians and the Palomino Mustangs may be the only two military single breed mounted color guard units in the country.
The Friesians will also be appearing in the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade on Saturday, May 27. The parade is televised in the Indianapolis area on WTHR (Channel 13) and national on the NBC Sports Channel. The parade kicks off at noon.
Two of the horses will also be making a special appearance at a former Trooper’s wedding on May 13, Waller said. Austin Chandler ’10 will be getting married and the two Friesians he rode at Culver will greet the couple as they exit Memorial Chapel following the ceremony.
Waller added the Horsemanship Department is looking to replace some of the Friesians who are getting older. People who are interested in assisting the Horsemanship Department should contact him, he said.