Manuel King is riding his Palomino horse “Nugget” Friday for his second inaugural parade in Washington, D.C.
The Ripon resident is an equestrian deputy with the Merced County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse. King is the only member of the group coming from outside Merced County. King will serve as a goodwill ambassador for the county and is part of the only mounted unit representing California.
King lives in Ripon with his wife Kathy and their daughter Kristen who is a 16-year-old Ripon High student. He was born and raised in Manteca prior moving to Ripon.
King rode with the posse at the inaugural parade for President George W. Bush in 2005.
King has been a member of the posse since 1991 when his brother-in-law and friends encouraged him to join the group of riders. The posse has been riding in numerous parades up and down the state including an appearance in the Rose Parade five years ago in Pasadena. They were part of the legendary Roy Rogers’ 100th anniversary float.
“I am very proud to represent the State of California in this historical event,” King said. “Merced County’s Sheriff’s Posse will make California proud as we represent our state.”
The posse has participated in parades for President Richard Nixon, the 1976 Bicentennial, Bush and now Donald Trump. The goodwill riders raised $60,000 needed for the trip through fundraisers and donations. They are all riding Palomino horses with sterling silver saddles. The uniforms they will be wearing are made by a custom tailor in Hollywood. King’s fellow equestrians have also been active participants in the Ripon Almond Blossom Parade for the past 15 years.
The posse’s horses left for Washington on Sunday for their trip across the country. They are being transported in temperature controlled air-ride trailers while their riders are flying back.
King has owned K&M Signs in Ripon since 2000.
The posse was first organized in 1885, some 132 years ago.
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