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Browns accepted for '09 Rose Parade

Rainbow’s Brown family has been accepted to participate in the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Jerry, Colleen and Lori Brown will be part of the Spirit of the West Riders equestrian unit during the five-and-a-half-mile New Year’s Day parade and the associated equestrian activities.

The parade will be the 11th for Lori, the 10th for Jerry and the ninth for Colleen. Two of those were with the Ramona Pageant, while the remainder have been with the Spirit of the West Riders, who ride for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and portray characters representative of the American West.

The Spirit of the West Riders found out about their acceptance in August. “I thought we probably would be,” Jerry said.

The application wasn’t a certainty to be approved despite the past acceptance of the group. “They tighten up the rules all the time,” Jerry said.

The Spirit of the West Riders will be participating in their 18th Tournament of Roses Parade.

Phil Spangenberger, the leader of the Spirit of the West Riders, insists on historical accuracy other than allowing the use of breast collars for safety. The clothing, saddles and bridles replicate those used by men and women who rode the frontier between 1840 and 1920.

The theme of the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade is “Hats Off to Entertainment.” Since the Tournament of Roses Parade is held on January 1 unless New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, the 2009 parade will take place on New Year’s Day.

The Equifest at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center will take place on Sunday, December 28, so the Browns will have three days between trips.

“We have a lot more time at home than we usually do,” Jerry said.

During the Equifest Jerry usually performs a mounted shooting rifle exhibition and Lori races in a sidesaddle mounted shooting exhibition.

The order of the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade entries is still to be determined.

In the 2008 parade, which had the theme “Passport to the World’s Celebrations,” the Spirit of the West Riders were the 13th entry, placing them immediately behind the City of Downey’s float. The Spirit of the West Riders complemented that Western-themed float by riding alongside the float during much of the parade.

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