Horsing around the inauguration

For the fifth time, Wilton resident Rhonda Watts Hettinger is scheduled to take part in a presidential inaugural parade, this time as a member of a regional affiliate of the American Sidesaddle Association.

As part of Barack Obama’s inaugural festivities Tuesday, Hettinger will be riding “Cricket,” a Morgan-thoroughbred mare she raised from a foal.

The lifelong resident of Wilton was scheduled to ride in Ronald Reagan’s parade in 1985, which was canceled at the last minute because of extreme cold. She rode in the parades for George H.W. Bush in 1989, Bill Clinton in 1993, and George W. Bush in 2001. In those parades she rode “Isaac.”

Hettinger said this group has created its own period-based outfits consisting of a safety skirt and 1860s coat with a cavalry motif. The horses represent many breeds and disciplines, she said.

They will be 22nd in the parade, the first horse unit.