Woman will ride in Tourney of Roses Parade | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Woman will ride in Tourney of Roses Parade

A childhood dream of riding a horse in the Tournament of Roses Parade will become reality Wednesday for a Barton Memorial Hospital emergency room nurse.

Eileen Rice and her horse, Sierra De Galileo, whom she affectionately calls Si Si, will ride for the first time in the 114th annual New Year’s Day parade in Pasadena. The parade starts at 8 a.m.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do since my dad took me to my first Rose Parade when I was 5 years old,” the Stateline resident said.

The female horse, half Andalusian, half registered Azteca, will join 11 other similar horses and their owners who belong to the International Andalusian Association. The group will ride together as one entry in the parade.

Rice submitted an application, which required having participated with horses in other parades. Who actually gets to ride in the parade was determined by parade officials in August. Rose Parade officials look for experienced riders and horses for the annual parade.

Rice has been in the Los Angeles Times Orange County Christmas Parade and in the Spanish Fiesta Days Parade in Santa Barbara.

Si Si, who is 7 years old and is boarded in Temecula, Calif., is no stranger to competitions. She has won numerous horse show trophies in various riding classes.

The horse is a breed known for its showmanship, intelligence and friendliness toward people. It is a descendent breed of the Lippizan, which is one of the only breeds to perform “air above ground” stunts, or stunts in which the horse jumps in the air and kicks out with all four feet off the ground.

While Si Si can’t quite do the trick yet, she does dance in place and strikes poses for anyone looking at her.

“She is very elegant, a beautiful breed,” Rice said.

Rice has been to many Rose Parades, always hoping for an opportunity, one day, to ride. She said her dream came to her at an early age, after her father took her to the parade.

“Hop-a-long Cassidy was the grand marshal of the parade that year,” she said. “I remember him riding right over to me, tipping his hat, and the horse taking a bow. From that point on, I knew I wanted to be in that parade.”

Her husband, Wes, a reserve officer with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, will not attend because he has been called for duties at the annual New Year’s Eve gathering in Stateline.

The Rose Parade can be seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and the Home and Garden Channel.

Rice and the women in the International Andalusian Association group will be wearing Spanish dresses. Rice’s dress will be lime green. The men in the group will be wearing traditional Spanish formal riding wear.

— City editor Jeff Munson can be reached at jmunson@tahoedailytribune.com

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