|Lewis Feild and Tony Parkhurst, USMC ret.|
USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center, Pickel Meadows CA - Wrangler cowboys and cowgirls will once again stray from traditional ‘Cowboy Christmas Rodeos’ to instead spend time with America’s only Department of Defense Special Operation Forces equestrian program over our nation’s birthday weekend.
Six years ago World Champion Cowboys Lewis Feild and John Jones Jr. joined American300 in dedicating a week to the United States Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Horsemen. In the years that followed Lewis Feild, would return to the Sierra Nevada’s Toiyabe National Forest and the training center four more times.
“Lewie not only shared his stories of never quitting on his way to capturing 5 world titles, but he unpacked loads of equestrian knowledge with my Marines over the years,” says Master Sergeant Tony Parkhurst, USMC ret. who manages the DoD equestrian program with a staff of Marines today, adding, “When cancer took Lewie from us a few years back, it hit us all really hard, but to see his legacy continue on with professional cowboys and cowgirls willing to give up their ‘cowboy christmas’ to spend time over the July4th weekend with my team really says something about the impact that Lewie had on the western community and the Wrangler National Patriot program as a whole.”
This year the husband and wife duo of Dustin and Trisha Shields will be traveling to the mountains.
“It’s my second visit to the Marine Corps Base and the community of Bridgeport, California,” says Trisha, a full-time US Air Force Technical Sergeant, adding, “I’m so pumped to introduce my husband Dustin, to these amazing Marines and the community that supports them.”
|Dustin and Trisha Shields|
While the professional bull rider from Kansas and rodeo queen from Oklahoma will be special guests of Centennial Livestock Companies annual ranch rodeo, they’ll also be spending time on base with our Marine Special Operation Forces Horsemanship instructors, learning the mission, sharing knowledge and heading out on training rides with the instructors.
“Dustin and Trisha both bring over 50 years of professional equestrian knowledge to the fight, and that was what this exchange was all about 6 years ago… we wanted to have our professional horseman share everything they knew with our Marine Corps instructors.” says Jeff Chadwick, founder of Wrangler’s National Patriot program and director with Wrangler Jeanswear.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that the Wrangler and Amerian300 family doesn’t miss Lewis Feild, but I know that Lewie is looking down with a smile ( and maybe a cell phone in his ear ) proud of the group of cowboys and cowgirls that have continued on his legacy of spending July 4th with our Marines in the mountains.” says Robi Powers, of american300.org