Silverthorne resident to ride in Obama’s inaugural parade
Silverthorne, CO Colorado
SILVERTHORNE, Colorado ” Silverthorne, Colorado resident Alaina Brenner has come along way from the 6-year-old girl who carried her first flag in a Kansas parade.
Next week, she’ll travel to Washington, D.C. with her main horse, Token, as part of the Greeley-based Freedom Riders scheduled to perform in President Obama’s inaugural parade on Jan. 20.
The all-women team will perform intricately choreographed drills on horseback, carrying large 6-by-8-foot American flags while wearing red, white, and blue all-leather chaps and collars with fringe.
“The team rode in President Bush’s 2005 Inaugural Parade, so being selected twice to march down Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capitol building and the White House is an unbelievable experience for us,” Brenner said.
The group is comprised of riders Brenner, Lee Barrett, Emily Meyette, Tracy Davis, Tara Spencer, Cheryl Lookhart, Jessica Fish and Linda Fish.
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With the creation of Freedom Riders, the women developed a unique way to display their affection for the United States with a patriotic western presentation of the national colors.
“This time, we’re getting Spyder coats to wear under our collars,” Brenner said. “We froze last time.”
Brenner, 27, joined her mother-in-law Barrett and fellow rider Lookhart in forming the Freedom RIders in 2000.
“We started doing rodeo openings,” Brenner said, “because my father-in-law is a rodeo announcer.”
From there, it developed into a group that began performing at parades and banquets.
“In ’05 we got a crazy idea to apply to the inaugural parade, and we got accepted,” Brenner said. “It was a great honor and an eye-opening experience.”
Brenner said she wasn’t prepared for the vast numbers of uniformed military, police, veterans and Secret Service who lined the streets and saluted their flags during that parade.
“It was an overwhelming feeling,” she said. “The President gave us thumbs up and waved.”
Brenner, who grew up on a paint-horse ranch in Kansas, started riding at age 4.
“I’ve been doing this kind of thing my whole life,” she said. “Now it’s just gone to a grander scale.”
Summit County’s patriotic mother of three will head to Washington with her husband, Travas Brenner, who will appear in the parade as a Freedom Riders walker.
The riders also perform at PRCA rodeos and specialty events. They’ve made appearances on television shows, veteran’s memorials and twice at the paint-horse world show in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at email@example.com.