October 23, 2007 -- The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has announced that show jumping Olympians Margie Engle, Anne Kursinski, Beezie Madden and Melanie Smith Taylor will represent the USET Foundation in the 2008 Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
The four show jumpers will join dressage Olympians Sue Blinks, Debbie McDonald, Guenter Seidel and Steffen Peters, and eventing Olympians Darren Chiacchia, Nina Fout, Kim Severson and Karen Stives to comprise a 12-member mounted squad representing the USET Foundation in the 119th Rose Parade on January 1, 2008. The telecast of the parade will begin at 11 a.m. EST.
Jane Forbes Clark, USET Foundation President and CEO, and Mason Phelps, Jr., the alternate on the U.S. eventing team at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, will lead the 12-member Olympic squad on foot as flag-bearers for the USET Foundation. A floral float celebrating the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing sponsored by the Avery Dennison Corporation and an escort of four members of the Los Angeles Mounted Sheriff's Posse will precede the USET Foundation squad.
Riders on the USET Foundation squad will parade attired in traditional Olympic show clothes representing their disciplines. The show jumpers will wear red Grand Prix coats, dressage riders will wear shadbellies and top hats and eventers will wear cross-country attire. The athletes will ride local mounts accustomed to parade work, provided by the Los Angeles Mounted Sheriff's Posse.
"The exposure this event provides for our sport is invaluable, and I am grateful to our Olympic riders for their enthusiasm and generosity in being ambassadors for equestrians around the world," said USET Foundation Executive Director Bonnie Jenkins.
A New Year's Day tradition, the Rose Parade precedes football's annual Rose Bowl Game. The theme of the 2008 Rose Parade is "Passport to the World's Celebrations." Featured in the parade's renowned pageantry will be 300 horses, floral floats and marching bands. Nearly one million spectators line the five-and-a-half mile Rose Parade route.