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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Horses and riders: good neigh-bors

 Neighs filled the air as horses strutted their stuff for an audience of hundreds on Saturday, Nov. 7th.

Pierce College’s Sixth Annual Parade of Breeds event brought students, families, and members of the equestrian community together in a day dedicated to horses.

Paddy Warner, equine science director at Pierce created the show years back to test her students on different horse breeds.

“How many people still think they are getting a hundred percent,” Warner asked her students.

With a low show of hands and a smile she continued.

“Uh oh, it’s okay I’ll grade on a curve,” she said.

Though the test was not easy, equine student Olga Cortez was appreciative of the opportunity to see the horses up close.

“The parade of breeds is really good because you get to see the different types of horses, if you’re just seeing them in a book, they all look the same. But in real life you can actually see different distinguishable marks. And know what these living creatures are,” Cortez said.

Warner had a special present for her students while giving the answers to the test.

“You want to hear the best news of the day? The test does not count, if you showed up you get a hundred percent,” she yelled.

The parade was not a just a test, but an opportunity for students in the horse show management class to produce an equestrian event, and for students and community to immerse themselves in real horse culture. In addition to the parade, there was Ranch Sorting, a sport in which teams of two riders on horseback drive numbered cattle from one pen to the other in correct order.  

Holiday vendors present sold everything from decorations, jewelry, photographs, to equestrian related merchandise. Different horse exhibitions were also put on for spectators. They included show jumping, reining, mule packing, a Peruvian Paso horse demonstration, as well as a showing of horse drawn carriages put on by the

Whip’r Snapper Driving Society of Southern California. The crowd also got a surprise treat with a dog training show.

The event was open to all and any who wanted to attend. Local residents Alex and Stephanie Marcus were happy to have something they could bring their son Felix to.

“He [Felix] loves animals so it was great to see them up close. Being able to see so many varieties of horses and seeing the action of the horses too,” Stephanie Marcus said.

Student volunteer Jennifer Vasquez believes it’s good to see more participation in the event.

“A lot of people came. I think that’s what’s most important because then a lot of people will know that we have events for family all the time,” she said.
Jessica Durston, a teaching assistant and member of the mule packing team has gained valuable knowledge through the yearly event.

“I definitely have learned more about the different breeds through this event every year. It’s a lot of fun,” Durston said.

The Parade of Breeds continues to grow and occurs yearly in the fall.

“They added the demos last year. Before that they just had the running through and short intermission. They’ve just expanded on it year after year now. With the ideas that people come up with, we can have quite a bit every year,” Durston said.

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