We have some very exciting news to report that also happens to be a great honor for us here at Equine Advocates. Sergeant York, who first gained international attention in 2004 as the “Riderless Horse” in the funeral procession for former President Ronald Reagan, has been retired here. Now 31, he arrived at the sanctuary on June 15th after 25 years of loyal service as a Military Working Horse with the Caisson Platoon, a unit of the U.S. Army. During that period, Sergeant York served as a “Riderless Horse” in thousands of Armed Forces Full Honors Funerals and other official ceremonies. He and Black Jack, the “Riderless Horse” at the funeral of former President John F. Kennedy back in 1963, are the two most famous and beloved Caisson Horses of all time.
Sergeant York is the second Military Working Horse to be retired here. In January of 2021, we welcomed Tyler, who had served as a Caisson Horse for nine years. Tyler’s job was different in that he always had a rider on his back and appeared in front of the caskets, helping to lead the funeral processions with the other horses, whereas Sergeant York would always follow the processions without a rider.
In addition to our rescued equine residents, we take great pride in providing permanent retirement homes for these Military Working Horses as a way of thanking them for their years of faithful service to the country. Sergeant York will be making his public debut at Equine Advocates when we welcome visitors during our next Public Open Day this Saturday, July 16th. Please see more details below. We’re so excited to have him here and are thrilled that many of his fans, as well as veterans who have known him over the years will have an opportunity to visit him.
Please stay tuned for more updates about Sergeant York. Given his dark good looks and winning personality, he is bound to become a matinee idol!