On Saturday, Fort Huachuca hosted the first-ever Cavalry Heritage Day at Fort Huachucaâ€™s Wren Arena for mounted competitions with pistol, saber and riding demonstrations from two units.
B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment (Memorial) from Fort Huachuca and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment horse detachment from Fort Irwin, Calif., participated. The purpose was to showcase the riding skills of Army riders and promote the history and heritage of the U.S. Army cavalry. Fort Huachucaâ€™s B Troop represents the cavalry from the 1880s while Fort Irwinâ€™s detachment represents the cavalry in 1901.
The day began with a saber competition with individual riders taking their horses through a 12-target obstacle course with a number of sharp turns and jumps. The riders had to engage each target with either a point or slashing attack. Failure to use the correct attack resulted in a five-second penalty.
The second event was a pistol competition in which each rider had to navigate an obstacle course with six balloon targets. These were often combined with a jump obstacle or were placed close together so the rider had to be steady on his horse and quick on the trigger. Each man used an 1873 model single-action Army Colt with black powder blanks to burst the balloons.
The day culminated with riding demonstrations. The Fort Irwin team demonstrated their riding skills with saber, pistol and lance. B Troop followed up with their cavalry riding demonstration including pistol and saber charges and a new demonstration of dismounted fighting techniques. Afterwards, both teams dismounted and met with audience members.
Both horse detachments will meet each other again in competition at Fort Riley, Kan., in September for the National Cavalry Competition.