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    Rosy future

    - August 1st, 2019 - Communities

    Horsewomen of Temecula Wine Country are pooling passion, talents to bring together their community—and ride down the Rose Parade in January

    From Horsetrader staff

    The Cowgirl Color Guard Team lines up with its supporters, among them civic leaders (and carriage passengers) Temecula Fire Chief Jodie Gray, Temecula Police Chief Lisa McConnell, Temecula CHP Commander Karyn Mentink, and Maryann Edwards, three-time Temecula mayor and current city council member. (Chet K photography)

    TEMECULA—If all goes as planned, a group of horsewomen next Jan. 1 will ride together down Colorado Blvd. in the 131st Tournament of Roses Parade—the culmination of talent, commitment and teamwork. The journey won’t end with the 5.5-mile route, though, because there’s a purpose beyond the campaign: promoting equestrian and rural lifestyles in their community.

    The Temecula Cowgirl Color Guard Team members recognize how special their slice of south Riverside County is, and they want to keep it. The teamwork that makes a color guard special can also enhance a community—improving communication, cementing relationships and coordinating efforts that lead to good things.

    The five ladies spearheading the Temecula Cowgirl Color Guard Team’s campaign as a 2020 Rose Parade entry are (from left) Judy Taylor, Maryann Edwards, Pat North Ommert, Juanita Koth and Beth Good. (Chet K photography)

    The theme of the 2020 Rose Parade, “The Power of Hope”, is perfect for the group, which hopes that its efforts and example of community stewardship inspires future generations to pick up the reins in their turn.

    Of course, parades have their awards, too, and the Temecula Cowgirl Color Guard’s discipline, style and attention to detail has led to top honors in several of them, most recently at this years Swallows Day Parade in San Juan Capistrano

    “Our approach is, ‘We’re in it to win it!’,” says Juanita Koth, the Parade Team Captain who credits a remarkable group of riders and support crew for this chance to represent Temecula in the Rose Parade.

    “We’re not a rodeo drill team,” she explains. “We do do drills, but we’re more a color guard for parades and small events. This community has some remarkable women, and all have a story—and the stories include horses.”

    Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment that gave women in the U.S. the right to vote, and the suffragettes of 1920 would have cheered the team that runs Temecula today. The city’s fire chief (Jodie Gray), police chief (Lisa McConnell) and the commander of the California Highway Patrol (Karyn Mentink) are all women. They also are key figures in both the Cowgirl Color Guard Team and the preservation of the community’s equestrian lifestyle, as are three-time mayor and current city councilmember Maryann Edwards and National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee Pat North Ommert. Rounding out the color guard’s powerful leadership team are Koth, a pediatric critical care RN at Children’s Hospital, realtor and equestrian advocate Beth Good, and Judy Taylor, an entertainer and song writer. Taylor recently performed in a new video, “Temecula, Place of the Sun,” that will be incorporated into the team’s show for Equestfest, the popular “pre-parade” exhibition of equestrian units scheduled Dec. 29 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

    Koth says two generous sponsors gave the team financial lift-off: Galway Downs and Wilson Creek Winery. Along the way, subsequent contributors like Winchester Western Saddlery and Boot Barn Temecula have helped outfit the riders.

    Koth expects to learn if the Temecula Cowgirl Color Guard has been accepted into the Rose Parade in the first week of August. Until then, they will be filled with anticipation. And hope.

    More online: http://bit.ly/908_rose

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