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Stafford resident Mansfield Montague shares his love of horses--and his interest in black cowboys--with those around him
Riders in the Urban Trail Ride head down Washington Avenue in Fredericksburg.
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Montague hopes they'll be part of another parade this winter, for the inauguration of Barack Obama.
So does state Sen. Richard Stuart, a Republican from Westmoreland County. He's hoping the Stafford-based group will be included.
In a letter of recommendation, he said the members' "willingness to pour energy and enthusiasm into the lives of so many is outstanding."
Yesterday's ride was sponsored by the Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Department and Police Department to benefit the Virginia Recreation & Park Society.
For Montague, it was a chance to share, as when he pulled Storm up to a woman from Maryland and chatted.
There are 39 other associations for black cowboys, from New York to Georgia, and his group rides with every one of them.
Members even ride on Thanksgiving morning and New Year's Day.
(All the events are listed on unitedhorsemen.org.)
Like many of the riders, Montague was used to the attention caused by a pack of horses. As the group clopped along Caroline Street, people came out of shops and stores to watch.
Children waved. Adults smiled. John Carey stepped out of the Virginia Wine Experience store and sang, "Happy trails to you."
Montague, a self-employed truck driver, grinned through most of the ride. He especially liked showing others how easily he got into the saddle.
He'll be 60 next month, but he still trots up to his horse, puts one leg in the stirrup and throws the other over with one smooth movement.
Just like the cowboys in the movies, but with color.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425