The First Team's horse detachment recently added to the division's list of 'firsts' by vaulting over their competition with a hard-charging performance.

The 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment competed for the first time as a team in the U.S. Cavalry Association's National Cavalry Competition. In years past, the HCD only sent a team of two to four Troopers to take part in the competition.

Beating out teams, including those from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Fort Carson, Colorado and Fort Huachuca, Arizona, the HCD placed in the top three 24 times, including 11 first place titles, and was named the outstanding military unit.

Capt. Elizabeth Rascon, 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment commander, explained that in years past, the HCD only sent a team of two to four Troopers to take part in the competition, however this year they were able to bring the entire demonstration team.

The national competition is hosted annually by the U.S. Cavalry Association, an organization that focuses on preserving U.S. cavalry history and assisting modern cavalry units in maintaining cavalry traditions.

The competition itself is comprised of several events aimed at promoting good horsemanship and testing the cavalryman's skills, including combat and military horsemanship, mounted pistols and sabers, jumping and bugling, and authenticity.

Rascon explained that the detachment's weekly demonstration - held every Thursday at 10 a.m. at the HCD's stables here - were key to the team's success because the events they show off to the public are so similar to those in the competition.

Sgt. Jason Bishop, an aircraft powerplant repairer and the military trainer with the detachment, said he attributes the HCD's success to their hard work and ability to come together as a team.

"Not only did we compete well, but we represented well with our professionalism and our hard work and our Soldiers being motivated," said Bishop.

Rascon said the unit not only represented the First Team in the competition, but Fort Hood as well.

"I feel very proud of the Soldiers," she said. "The unit award shows how proud the Soldiers are to be in the organization."