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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 380

U.S. Marine Corps receives three palomino mustangs at L.A. Equestrian Center WH&B adoption

BLM's Wild Horse and Burro (WH&B) Program presented the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Color Guard with three Palomino mustangs and honored it with a Proclamation of Appreciation during a formal presentation at the wild horse and burro adoption event at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, Saturday, April 18.  The proclamation thanked the U.S. Marine Corps for 25 years of service promoting the WH&B program.  The Color Guard has received mustangs through BLM's WH&B program since the mid 1980's. (text continues below)

 USMC color guard members stand with their mustangs

Art DiGrazia, WH&B program manager, presented the Proclamation of Appreciation to three members of the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard, along with Lt. Col. Fisher, USMC Reserve.  The Color Guard accepted the three gentled Palomino mustangs, along with USMC Color Guard belt buckles.   Approximately 60 people, including former 1st Marine Division members were present for the ceremony. 
The USMC Color Guard travels all over the Western United States participating in parades, rodeos, and many other events.  They have participated in the Rose Parade riding BLM mustangs for close to 20 years. Normally, four to five riders on horseback "march on the colors".

Today the Mounted Color Guard rides five gentled Palomino mustangs adopted from the BLM’s Adopt-a-Wild-Horse-and-Burro Program.

For 30 years the 1st Division (USMC) Association, Los Angeles County Chapter, has supported and sponsored the USMC Mounted Color Guard and funded the adoption of the unit's last five mustangs; they are also the adopting party on the official BLM forms.   The chapter takes great pride in supporting the Color Guard and provides them with trailer generators, air compressors, and belt buckles.  The coveted USMC Color Guard belt buckle is awarded to a color guard horse Marine once he or she proves proficiency in equestrian knowledge, riding skills and horse grooming techniques, and presents colors in a public event.   The 1st Division Association is the largest and most decorated division in the Marine Corps, based at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif. This nonprofit veterans group consists of officers, fleet marine force, and corpsmen medics.  They represent generations from World War II to the Gulf War.  Last February, the chapter presented the USMC Color Guard with an 18-month supply of belt buckles.

Thirteen horses and five burros were adopted at the L.A. Equestrian Center Adoption event, April 17-19.  On Friday the KKGO 105.1 radio Street Team promoted the event on site, and NBC TV affiliate Channel 4 shot footage for its 6 o'clock news.  More than 450 people attended the event, and many said they hoped to adopt in the future "when horse chow isn't so expensive."

Audrey Gainey and her mother, Shelagh, watch mustangs in the corrall. "I like #1949 -- the little black, brown
one," Audrey said. "She came over and said hi and I petted her face."
Audrey Gainey watches mustangs with her mother, Shelagh.

A burro waits for adoption
A burro waits for adoption

A channel 4 cameraman meets a mustang ridden by Art DiGrazia, BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program manager
A channel 4 cameraman meets a mustang ridden by Art DiGrazia, BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program manager

Two mustangs from the Black Mountain Herd Management Area await adoption
Two mustangs from the Black Mountain Herd Management Area await adoption 

-JoAnn Schiffer-Burdett, 4/19/09

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 380

Last updated: 05-01-2009