By Spc. Brandon C. Dyer, The Old Guard Public AffairsNovember 5, 2015
The 57th annual Washington International Horse Show hosted its 5th annual Military Appreciation Night Oct. 23 that featured members of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).
A most notable guest at Military Appreciation Night was Klinger, a horse in The Old Guard Caisson Platoon. The Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor and Service has been awarded for the past three years at the show.
The Klinger award recognizes a horse, individual or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by Klinger.
"Thanks in part to the generous support of corporate and individual donors, WIHS has been able to foster a strong and lasting connection between the equestrian community and the United States Armed Forces," said WIHS Executive Director Bridget Love Meehan. "We are proud of our efforts to support the men, women and their families that serve our country."
The Old Guard was also featured in the Army vs. Navy Celebrity Barrel Racing Competition.
Barrel racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to complete a cloverleaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time.
The race paired representatives from the U.S. Navy Equestrian Team and U.S. Army Caisson Platoon with top international show jumping riders and some of the nation's fastest professional cowgirls affiliated with the National Barrel Horse Association, Women's Professional Rodeo Association and American Professional Rodeo Association.
Other competitions included the International Jumper Puissance High Jump class alongside the International Jumper Speed Final.
The WIHS is a prestigious equestrian sporting event that attracts world-class level horses and riders to the National Capital Region each October, according to the WIHS website.
Established in 1958, the six-day show includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events.
More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money.
The Caisson Platoon's horses are primarily used in funeral processions to carry service members on a "last ride" to Arlington National Cemetery, according to The Old Guard's website. The six-horse procession pull a flag-draped casket on a black artillery caisson. Built in 1918, the caissons were used for 75mm canons.
In addition to military funeral duties, the Caisson Platoon also participates in a variety of annual historic pageants, including Spirit of America and the Twilight Tattoo.
For more information about the Caisson Platoon, visit http://go.usa.gov/camEQ.