DENVER, Colo.-- Three U.S. Army mounted horse detachments participated in the 31st Annual Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in Denver, Colorado, Feb. 23-26, 2023.
For the first time in history, mounted color guard units from the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and Fort Irwin, came together to perform a joint cavalry tactics demonstration to showcase their skills and capabilities and to interact with the public.
“There’s been a lot of cohesion between the teams,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ethan Cizauskas, a trooper assigned to the 1st Inf. Div. Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard (CGMCG). “We’re all like-minded individuals and have the same end goal. It’s great working with them, and I feel like joint-mounted operations should be done more often.”
The horse expo is one of Colorado’s largest annual fundraisers, as it entertains and educates horse lovers from around the world of all breeds and disciplines.
The units’ daily cavalry tactics demonstration consisted of saber cuts, mounted pistol target shooting, high jumps, best trooper competitions, and more.
“My favorite part is watching everyone shoot balloon targets with pistols,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Madeline Miller, the commander of the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard. “It’s great to be able to put our hard work to the test and showcase it to the public. It has been a pleasure and an honor working with the other units and performing at the expo.”
As each cavalry unit has its respective era they represent, expo attendees had the opportunity to watch all units perform together, to speak with troopers directly, and to meet the steeds.
“I think that this expo, and other events like this, are something that divisions with horse detachment color guards should put forethought into doing in the future,” said U.S. Army Cpl. Sarah Aslup, a trooper assigned to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and Fort Irwin. “I cannot elaborate on how great the connections are that we’ve made with other units, civilians, organizations, and prior service members. This job is amazing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”
Each night the cavalry units closed the horse expo by conducting a joint National and division colors presentation. The presentation also honored past fallen cavalry Soldiers with a riderless horse.
“It helps the public understand why we do what we do as cavalrymen,” said Cizauskas. “One of the main things we uphold in the Army is tradition. It helps bring light to other areas of the Army that a lot of people don’t know about, which is just as rewarding as it is important.”
CGMCG public engagements like these are enduring efforts of the Big Red One in support of the 'Meet Your Army' campaign, an initiative to connect with the American public, educate community and business leaders, and inspire youth to serve.
1st Inf. Div. CGMCG troopers included Staff Sgt. Frank Haskell, Staff Sgt. Ethan Cizauskas, Spc. Teegan Myers and Spc. Sammi Wright. 4th Infantry Division Color Guard troopers included 1st Lt. Madeline Miller, Staff Sgt. Craig Ellis, Staff Sgt. Cole Rynders, Sgt. Vincent Aquino, Sgt. Kirk Peterson, Sgt. Ethan Isaacs, Sgt. Victoria Baker, Sgt. Ernesto Ruiz, Sgt. Justin Robinson, Cpl. Joshua Maldonado, Cpl. John Porter, Cpl. Nicole Wagoner, and Pfc. Lydia Hicks. 11th Armored Cavalry Detachment troopers included Capt. David Richards, Sgt. 1st Class Chris Stemple, Staff Sgt. Nathan Perkins, Cpl. Sarah Alsup, Cpl. Clarissa Falmad, Spc. Jakovan Sexton, Pfc. Jacob Christmas, and Pfc. Charles Stillwell.