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Frank J. Buchman/Special to the Herald-Chronicle
Three members of the newly formed Kansas Pride and Glory Riders patriotic drill team practiced earlier this week for their debut performance May 17-18 at the Burlingame Rodeo. Pictured are, from left, Amy Bermudez, of Berryton, Bonnie Thorne, of Wakarusa, and Lori Walker, of Overbrook.

Frank J. Buchman | Special to the Herald-Chronicle

BURLINGAME—A group of area riders are set to spread their love of freedom and horses, meeting on horseback and practicing for their first public performance as a highlight of the 43rd annual Burlingame Rodeo May 17-18 in Burlingame.

“We are so excited to have the Kansas Pride & Glory Riders in their debut appearance at the Burlingame Rodeo, and they also plan to ride in the Saturday afternoon parade at 1 p.m.,” said Pat Rusher, secretary of the Burlingame Saddle Club, the rodeo sponsor.

“We are so proud to be Americans, and of the military men and women who continue to generously serve our country, as well as the many veterans who have fought to protect our treasured rights and privileges,” said Melba Rhudy, of Americus.

“We had seen other groups that had done patriot tributes honoring our country, our military personnel and our veterans on horseback, with American flags. Those presentations always drew such widespread acclaim. The spectators were so appreciative, and typically became so sentimental,” said Topeka horsewoman Sheryl Tasker.

“The thing is we all so dearly love horses, too, so it was just natural to form the Kansas Pride & Glory Riders,” Rhudy said.

No stipulations on ability of riders, or the type, color or competence of their horses were made for participation in team.

“We are all horseback enthusiasts who love our country, and those who protect our freedom, so we ride to express our appreciation with the hope that it becomes contagious,” explained Rhudy.

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