Salutes & Awards

April 26, 2012

B Troop Riding School to graduate three

By Christopher Zimmerman
B Troop Program Coordinator
Photos courtesy of B Troop
Riding instructors teach students the proper techniques for a saber charge. Members of B Troop undergo about six months of instruction and drilling before they receive their cavalry spurs or monogrammed riding crops.

A week from tomorrow, on the field where generations of cavalrymen have mustered and drilled, three new graduates of the B Troop Cavalry Riding School will be ceremonially enlisted by the garrison commander. The graduation ceremony will be held on May 4, 2 p.m. on Brown Parade Field.

The graduates will be Troy Wilcox, Clara Venditto, and Anastasia Virden who will take their place as official members of B Troop, 4th Regiment, U.S. Cavalry (Memorial).

Formed in mid-1973 to keep alive the heritage and flavor of Fort Huachuca’s cavalry beginnings, the troop originally was only a post ceremonial unit. Today, the members regularly attend civilian events and appear off-post than on.

B Troop’s work may appear romantic, but it is far from dreamy. In fact, for the more avid members, B Troop is practically a second, full-time job, considering that most appearances are on weekends. Members spend many hours of preparation for each performance. But the troopers volunteer their time freely and display the confident care, esprit and pride that come from being in the horse cavalry and knowing they are a U.S. Army and Fort Huachuca showcase unit.

The three graduates have completed a school that began in mid October. Spending months bouncing on surly cavalry mounts in all kinds of weather, the three have shown they have the mettle to ride for the Army. It is no small feat to finish the riding school. It takes skill, determination and a bit of luck to make it to the end.

Student riders must demonstrate skill at controlling a horse at all gaits including a full gallop as well as being able to wield weapons from horseback. Since many factors can cause a student to leave the school, they also all need a fair amount of luck to avoid injuries or new developments in their personal and professional lives that interfere with completing the school.

The students began with basic horsemanship training in Phase I lasting from October to December. During this phase, students learned balance while riding bareback and how to control a horse in precise patterns while in formation and while riding solo.

When Phase II began, after the holiday break, Wilcox focused on ceremonial riding while the ladies concentrated on sidesaddle riding.

Ceremonial riding involved learning the cavalry riding demonstration pattern and how to safely use weapons while on horseback. Students also learned how to conduct cavalry charges both in the arena and in an open field.

The ladies must learn the peculiarities of sidesaddle riding. With only one leg available for cueing the horse, they must learn how to use a riding crop as their right leg while balanced atop the bulky sidesaddle.

Upon graduation, Wilcox will enter B Troop as a cavalry private while the two women will join the Ladies Auxiliary.

All three graduates had at least some previous riding experience, although none is required. Wilcox grew up on a ranch in Colorado where his father raised quarter horses. He is a Navy helicopter pilot assigned to the Joint Interoperability Test Command.

Venditto is a local who has been riding for many years. She is a member of the United States Pony Club and is a riding instructor for the Cochise Area Network of Therapeutic Equestrian Resources. She is employed by Raytheon here on Fort Huachuca.

Virden had only recently started riding before entering the school, but has been an enthusiastic learner. She is employed by Northrop Grumman and is a contractor on Fort Huachuca.

During the graduation ceremony, Wilcox will receive his cavalry spurs while Venditto and Virden will receive monogrammed riding crops. This will be the first time that a naval officer will graduate from the cavalry riding school and the first time that two ladies will graduate simultaneously.

The graduation ceremony will be open to the public, and everyone is invited to attend. Refreshments for guests as well as apples and carrots for the horses will be available in the gazebo on Brown Parade Field immediately after the ceremony.

B Troop will begin recruiting for another riding school soon. The exact dates have not been determined, but they will be announced on the B Troop Web site at http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/garrison/units/BTROOP/.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Natalie Lakosil

40th ESB holds change of responsibility ceremony

Natalie Lakosil Outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. John Reinburg snaps the non-commissioned officer’s sword closed signifying his last official act as the command sergeant major and thereby cutting his ties to the unit. The 40th Expe...
 
 
Natalie Lakosil

Retirement ceremony celebrates Jerry Proctor’s past service

Natalie Lakosil Senior Executive Service Jerry Proctor, deputy to the commanding general U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca receives a certificate of appreciation during his retirement ceremony from M...
 
 
C. Todd Lopez

Vice chief kicks off ‘Quad A’ by recognizing innovators

C. Todd Lopez Retired Brig. Gen. Howard Yellen, Army Aviation Association of America president; Maj. Gen. Michael Lundy, commander, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker; and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Dani...
 

 
Trish Muntean

Fort Huachuca broadcasters take honors IMCOM announces public affairs competition winners

Trish Muntean A butterfly lands on the hand of Maj. Marissa Alexander just after she released it in the memorial garden May 29 in memory of her husband as her family watches with delight. This image won first place in the news ...
 
 
Natalie Lakosil

111th MI Bde. NCO, Soldier, Platoon Sgt. of Quarter winners selected

Natalie Lakosil Sgt. Jason Grider, Alpha Company, 309th Military Intelligence Battalion, inspects uniforms during the in-ranks inspection portion of the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade Non-commissioned Officer of the Quarte...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Bataan Death March Memorial hits home with Fort Huachuca Soldiers

Courtesy photo From left, Staff Sgt. Kenneth Johnson and Sgt. 1st Class Nolan Nagaue, both assigned to the Non-commissioned Officers Academy on post, cross the finish line at the Bataan Death March Memorial Sunday at White Sand...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin