Ill. residents prepare for inauguration

January 5, 2009 9:00:09 PM PST
A suburban group is preparing to perform on Obama's big day. They are among the most rare, majestic and intelligent breed of horses in the world. And they also have the rare opportunity to perform in the presidential inaugural parade. The Tempel Lippizan horses typically perform in their own auditorium on the property in the northern suburbs. But later this month several of them will travel to Washington D.C.

"It's going to be different. Especially since I found out we're going to be between two marching bands. It's going to be strap yourself in and hold on," said Linda Leffingwell, Tempel Lippizan.

Rider and trainer Linda Leffingwell expects the horses to be fine. The stable has had horses in several inaugural parades in the past. But the most recent one was almost thirty years ago when Ronald Reagan was being sworn in. They had to apply for the honor and be chosen just like many of the thousands of other Illinois residents who are heading to Washington.

Congressman Danny Davis is taking a group of more than six hundred people on ten buses.

"I'm looking very forward to going with the congressman to Washington. Very, very excited about this historical moment in time," said Dorothy Thomas.

The congressman still has room for more people to attend. He has 96 tickets that will go into a lottery drawing for residents of his 7th district. People can still request tickets by calling Davis' office at 773-533-7520 or on his website: Hotels may be difficult to arrange but Davis says no one is letting that stop them.

As for the Lippizan horses, they have a stable already arranged and the riders will stay nearby. They are excited.

"This is an amazing honor and something all of us will be proud to tell our children and grandchildren someday," said Courtney Tripp, Tempel Lippizan Program coordinator.

There are 80 of the horses. Only four get to actually march.