The Northwest will be represented in the inaugural parade by U.S. Border Patrol agents from stations in Washington and Montana who’ll ride mustangs that once ran wild on federal lands.
The Border Patrol applied for and won a coveted spot in the parade to showcase a program that agents say saves money, works well and preserves a piece of American heritage.
The mustangs are culled from federal lands in the West through the Bureau of Land Management’s Adopt a Wild Horse program. Inmates at a prison program in Colorado break the horses, which then help patrol rugged stretches of the U.S. border between the Cascades and the Rockies.
The unit made the seven-day trip to Washington, D.C., earlier this month so it could practice its parade routine.
The mustangs “are truly American legends,” Lee Pinkerton, assistant chief patrol agent of the Border Patrol’s Spokane District, said in December. “What can be better than having an American legend protecting Americans?”