1800s Cavalry to perform at Goliad fair

March 15, 2011 at 8:04 p.m.
Updated March 14, 2011 at 10:15 p.m.

The U.S. Army's only mounted horse cavalry will trot down to Goliad for the county's annual fair and rodeo.

The members of the First Cavalry Division Horse Detachment, based in Fort Hood, will saddle-up and perform formations with authentic late 19th-century uniforms and weaponry.

"We're showing people what the Cavalry was like during the late 1800s," said Trooper Christopher Kabela, who grew up in Victoria. "It's the best job in the Army, by far."

The show is coming to Goliad thanks to Kabela's family members and friends, who raised the funds and organized arrangements for the 36-member force to perform.

"It cost some money to get us down there, and it's well worth it when we're able to put on a show for civilians and give them a taste of what goes on," Kabela, 23, said.

All members of the Cavalry are active-duty and several have been deployed overseas for one or multiple tours, Kabela said.

But the two-year assignment in the horse detachment is a unique job that most soldiers don't even know exists, Kabela said.

"I wanted (to join) when I first started just because I like horses," the former infantryman said. "I came to find out that my job actually has a lot of history in it, and it actually helped me think about how much I enjoy what I do."

Kabela said he's a little nervous to be performing so close to home and in front of his entire family and old friends. But he's used to being in the public eye, given the Cavalry's mission to help recruit and perform at ceremonies, parades and wherever they're needed.

He said he's excited to show people what he's learned and what his job entails.

"That's another cool thing about what I do. It's not your average military job."



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