The Grand Entry

The year was around 1992, I was 1st Sargent for the Fort Concho Cavalry. It was my first year to lead this bunch of good guys. We all had a passion for horses and the historical western cavalry. At this time, I was riding Jasper predominantly. Jasper was a line back dun with tiger stripe markings on his legs. He carried the lineage of Doc Prescription, a Doc Bar son. He was a good horse, not because he was mind but because he was. I didn’t raise him. I did have a hand in some of his cavalry training but he was broke before I got him.

At this time, the San Angelo rodeo still have the open grand entry. This particular time, they had asked the Fort Concho Cavalry to give an exhibition for one of the performances. I was in charge of showing us off behind the public of San Angelo. It was an exciting time. It was a large indoor coliseum. It was at night, but it wouldn’t have made any difference with it being indoors. the unit was allowed to ride in the arena prior to the performance so the horses would get used to the settings. Be assured, not all horses like the indoors. The unit consisted of about 20 men.

As the performance began, I still remember sitting Old Jasper behind the closed gate. I could the arena and the announcer was giving his talk about Ft Concho. I sent up a little prayer for God to keep His hand on us all, plus, me do a good job of directing the unit. I remember Richard Crain was the Guidon bearer. He was right beside me as we entered the coliseum arena. He was riding a buckskin mare. We went in by 2’s. It was a true honor to lead the men around the arena together and separately. They all performed great.

At one of these performances, we did a charge as we left the arena. As with most indoor coliseums, they aren’t that long. A few of the horses were excited and it didn’t take them long to get out of that arena at a full run. Thankfully, we had no wrecks but it was close for sure.

This was day the Fort Concho Cavalry shown brightly.

I was honored to be at the front.

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