Twists of the hooves and powerful neighs echoed the Pierce College Equestrian Center for an audience to enjoy.
The eighth annual Parade of Breeds attracted many spectators from across the state, with around 40 different equines participating and parading in the event.
Gates opened at 9:30 a.m. for spectators to take part in a day of trotting, barrel racing and mule packing fun.
Many equine students attended the parade to enhance their education on horse studies. Quizzes were handed out in the audience, as students had to guess each breed that entered the arena.
The Parade of Breeds was originally started for the students of the beginning equine science classes, according to show manager Tracie Maccanelli.
“They learn breeds in those classes and this was kind a way for the students to actually see the breeds without just looking at a picture or getting an oral description. This was a way to teach the students what these breeds actually look like in real life,” Maccanelli said.
Maccanelli said this is the fourth Parade of Breeds she has attended. She is the president of the Boots and Saddles Club and the Mule Packing Team.
According to Maccanelli, she started riding when she was 12 and came here for the vet tech program. She later graduated from the program here at Pierce. She states she registered as a veterinary technician and then wanted to advance to work with large animals, so she joined the equine program a few years later.
The Parade of Breeds is put on by the 640 Horse Show and the organization management classes, according to Maccanelli.
Sandwiches, chips, sodas and water were being sold as donations to help keep the event active each year.
“The school supports the academic portion of it. As far as the arts and crafts, that’s supported by the Boots and Saddles Club,” Maccanelli said.
Spectator Bethany Contreras said she comes from Pasadena and has attended Pierce. She graduated the Registered Veterinary Technology program in 2013.
According to Contreras, The RVT program is closely linked to the equine science so he is able to work closely with some of the horses while she was involved in the program.
Contreras said her favorite part of the Parade of Breeds is the drill team’s performance.
The demonstration consisted of eight women riding side saddle in precision patterns with crossing and spins.
Rider Stephanie Abronson comes from Monte Nido and said she is here to help keep the Equestrian Center going.
She grew up in the Valley and has competed in many competitions over the years.
“This is the last equine or agricultural property in the Valley,” Abronson said. “My drill team, from the time I was 11 until I was 17, met here at Pierce College. I have a picture of our drill team at home.”
Owners showed off their equines during the second round of introductions. The many breeds were unveiled to the audience and various facts were announced about each steed.
Makayla Cozatt, vice president of the Mule Packing Team, said she started horseback riding at a very young age and grew up around it.
According to Cozatt, she came to Pierce specifically for the vet tech program and later started volunteering.
Cozatt said the Boots and Saddles Club significantly helps with making sure the Parade of Breeds is properly funded and the animals are well-cared for.
“We do fundraisers and see if there’s anything the horses need. We can help purchase it by donating some of the money to the school to purchase it,” Cozatt said.
Maccanelli said the equine community works closely together to ensure a positive learning environment.
“The horse community is small. It’s incredibly small so it’s about networking and positive attitudes just to get everybody together,” Maccanelli said.
Cozatt said the equine program is a wonderful opportunity for students to get an interactive experience with many horses at once.
“I think it’s a nice introductory event to where they can come and see all of the different breeds and some of our more exciting disciplines we demoed today,” Cozatt said.
Maccanelli said not many students know that the campus has a barn or an Equestrian Center at all.
“We just want to keep our program going and keep it so where the public knows about it and everybody on the other side of campus knows. A lot of people don’t even know we have horses and other animals on the campus here,” Maccanelli said.
Cozatt said it is a problem that some staff are unaware of animals on the agricultural part of campus. Having even some of the staff not knowing about the horses present on campus.
Contreras said the equine department has a lot to offer and more students should join the program.
“They should come support it because it’s a really neat thing for the public and it’s free,” Contreras said.