We are smack dab in the middle of Carnival Season with Shrove Tuesday just around the corner. There are so many people our city should thank for this grand display that’s put on each year, from the Carnival organizations to the New Orleans Police Department to our sanitation department, just to name a few. There is one Carnival contributor we should especially thank this year, and that’s Cascade Stables. Their horses and staff have marched in several parades every year since 1982! They were also the home of Lead Parade Horse, DeGaulle, who led parades such as Chaos, Proteus and Rex for 15 years.
Sadly DeGaulle passed away this year, but he left behind so many memories; he was a very prominent New Orleans figure who was proudly ridden by Carnival Captains from several organizations. Barbe Smith from Cascade Stables says, “DeGaulle was a great Lead Horse because nothing bothered him on the route; as long as he was leading he was calm, and when the band in the Proteus parade would play the national anthem he would stand completely still with his head up.” DeGaulle took his role very seriously and it showed, but he also knew when to let loose. He did this with the Proteus Captain in 2012 when they stopped by Grits bar for a cold beer after a long ride. He was a favorite among the Captains, even sharing gifts, letters and beers with them after each year’s ride.
This year Cascade Stables will be introducing their new Lead Parade Horse, Mystic. Mystic is a white Tennessee walking horse who is very excited to be a part of Carnival. Although Mystic has big horseshoes to fill, I think he’s up to the task. Please give Mystic and the staff of Cascade Stables a warm New Orleans welcome when you see them on the parade route!
Rex Captain, Bathurst X, pictured on DeGaulle, says, “DeGaulle would always ride very close to the police car in front of us, almost as if he were trying to move the parade along to stay on schedule. He knew how important it was to keep the parade tight!”
Proteus Captain XI with DeGaulle said “DeGaulle loved peppermints and Fruit Loops, my kids would feed them to him on the parade route.
DeGaulle in Grits bar after his 2012 Proteus ride.
Rex Captain, Bathurst XI, riding DeGaulle says he “was an easy ride. He knew the route and loved the people and always let the children pet him.”
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If so, please send it to: St. Charles Avenue, 110 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, La. 70005 or email: Shelby@MyNewOrleans.com