Chatfield float not ready to be sent out to pasture


GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS Chatfield's city float features the newly-refurbished "Trigger" rearing up to show spirit. The float arrived in Chatfield 25 years ago and is in at least 20 parades a year, including the Preston Trout Days parade.
By: 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

What does one get a horse for its 25th birthday?

Indoor-outdoor carpeting and matching skirting.

“I ordered the fabric from Illinois, and I figured out how many yards we’d need, and I laid it out in my garage. We had 50 feet of skirting to do, and I mocked it all in and cut it. I found the same fabric in my catalog that was on it when it came, and that’s got to be at least 25 years ago,” said Roy Lange.

He spoke of his small part in restoring Chatfield’s “Trigger” fiberglass horse float to its original grandeur while assisting the volunteers who take the float to parades all around the region and who did the bigger jobs – from replacing the flooring, sign supports, Astroturf carpeting and skirting to giving the well-known horse a polishing for a very shiny hiney.

A corps of Chatfieldians has faithfully gathered year after year to haul Trigger to more than 20 parades per year, beginning with the Spring Grove and the Preston Trout Days parades in May, appearing in the Cherry Grove and Harmony Fourth of July parades each July, in the hometown Chatfield Western Days grand parade in August and finishing up the season in late September in Wykoff’s Fall Fest parade.

Since his arrival in 1994, the equine ambassador’s edges had gotten a bit frayed, and it was time to spiff him up a bit.

The city crew put Trigger in the old cement plant city garage to keep him out of the rain. Volunteers – including local carpenter Kevin Ferrie — put in a weekend of replacing parts on the float’s base, repainting the hitch and spit-polishing the horse’s hinder with boat wax so he could have a derriere he’s proud to show off as he’s rearing up on his way through the celebration lineups.

All in all, the volunteers who lead Trigger to area celebrations are pleased with the results of the work done by community members. They have given their favorite horse a new shine for his 25th birthday – this is one pony that’s not being put out to pasture just yet.