THREE OAKS — The Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team will ride in the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
Team Captain Debbie Dunphy of Three Oaks said she received a call in early August from the chairman of the equestrian units of the Rose Parade inviting the team to ride in the New Year’s Day procession.
“Thirty-five equestrian units (most from California) applied for the January 1, 2020, Rose Parade and only 17 units were accepted. It’s very unusual for the Rose Parade to have equestrian units from the Midwest,” she said.
In addition to riding in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Dunphy said the team will perform in Equestfest at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center on December 29, 2019 (the equestrian event will be televised nationally on RFD TV).
“Once we accepted the invitation, we finalized our list of riders and ground support going to California. Though we have a large contingency of team members, unfortunately, not all are able to make this trip. We also have a former team member who now lives in Texas (originally from Pasadena) riding with us as well as four riders that live in California that I know through my drill team judging. All have drill team experience with a drill team in California.”
Dunphy said travel to and from California and accommodations for the team and horses will be the major costs of the trip. The team will be taking seven team horses for the performance/parade in two rigs and renting (to save some costs) additional horses for the parade in California. Some will be driving (hauling horses and team tack and supplies), but most will be flying to California to reduce their time away from home and work. The seven horses will be boarded at the LA Equestrian Center.
“Our budget also includes: additional uniform shirts for our performance at Equestfest, additional team chaps and tack, new cowboy hats, gloves, saddle blankets, and other new items as well as rose decorations for the parade. The total of our budget for the Rose Parade trip is almost $50,000,” she said.
Fund-raising has already included bake sales, tack sales, and selling laundry soap and Scency items.
“We are looking into a couple fundraiser dinners (possibly before and after parade) with silent auctions. In addition to the fundraisers, we are looking for team sponsors with cash or item (fuel cards, team tack, etc.) donations,” she said.
The team has also set up a GoFundMe (Mid America Cowgirls to Ride in the Rose Parade). If anyone is interested in helping the team, checks (made out to Mid America Cowgirls) may be mailed to them at P.O. Box 332, Three Oaks, MI 49128.
For more information you may contact the Cowgirls at: MidAmericaCowgirls@gmail.com.
Mid America Cowgirls members going to Rose Parade in Pasadena, California are: Debbie Dunphy (Captain) – Three Oaks; Dawn Nalezny – Knox, Ind.; Sharon Nalezny – Chicago; Charlotte Heiden – Rochetser, Ind.; Kaitlynd Heiden-Moore – Akron, Ind.; Amanda Forraht – Berrien Springs; Emily Forraht – Berrien Springs; Allie Florey – Buchanan; Karen Celmer – Walkerton, Ind.; Stephanie Freestone – Syracuse, Ind.; Lillian Freestone – Syracuse; Lizabeth Freestone – Syracuse; Kristina Rubio – North Liberty, Ind.; Lily Jesswein – Niles; Tori Powell – Knox; Lauren Bowman – Bowie, Texas; Suzette O’Grady – Oak View, Ca.; Debbie Colicci – Ca.; Natalia Colicci; Paula Adams — Hurd, Ca.