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Horsemanship at Culver

We offer several teams and organizations through which young equestrians of all skill levels develop character and leadership while learning to control and manage their horses. 

Take the reins, then lead the charge.

There is nothing like working one-on-one with a 1,500-pound animal to teach courage and sensitivity, and there is nothing like our Horsemanship Program to teach our riders teamwork, attention to detail, and leadership.

A Presidential Tradition

The Culver Academies’ Black Horse Troop and Equestriennes accepted an invitation to participate in the virtual Presidential Inaugural Parade on Jan. 20 for President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The “Parade Across America” marked the 108th anniversary of the primary reason the Black Horse Troop made that first trip to Washington, D.C. The mounted unit served as the official escort for Vice President Thomas Marshall during Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural parade in 1913 and again in 1917.

Forty-eight boys from Culver Military Academy’s Black Horse Troop and 22 Equestriennes of Culver Girls Academy, plus members of the Horsemanship staff, have been practicing for this moment since October. They represent 14 states and six countries.

The 2021 inaugural marks the 18th appearance for the Troop and the ninth for the Equestriennes. After the 1917 inaugural parade, Culver went 40 years before returning to Washington in 1957 for President Eisenhower’s second term. The Indiana boarding school has been represented by mounted units at every parade since, except in 1993 when an invitation for President Clinton’s first inaugural parade was not extended.

Inaugural Invitations
  • 1913 - Woodrow Wilson
  • 1917 - Woodrow Wilson
  • 1957 - Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1961 - John F. Kennedy
  • 1965 - Lyndon Johnson
  • 1969 - Richard Nixon
  • 1973 - Richard Nixon
  • 1977 - Jimmy Carter
  • 1981 - Ronald Reagan
  • 1985 - Ronald Reagan
  • 1989 - George Bush
  • 1997 - Bill Clinton
  • 2001 - George W. Bush
  • 2005 - George W. Bush
  • 2009 - Barack Obama
  • 2013 - Barack Obama
  • 2017 - Donald J. Trump
  • 2021 - Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Other Notable Appearances
  • AllTech FEI World Equestrian Games
  • Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade
  • Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade
  • Holland Tulip Festival Parade

Vaughn Equestrian Center

Built in 1917, the Vaughn Equestrian Center stables 94 horses, and is home to Culver’s renowned Black Horse Troop and the Equestriennes. The facility underwent a $10 million renovation completed in 2009 which resulted in a new stables and a renovation of the riding arena. Here, students can take beginning, intermediate, and advanced equitation, as well as horse training and stable management.

The Equestriennes are the honor organization of Culver Girls Academy students enrolled in equitation.

Horsemanship Organizations

Horsemanship News

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