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Percheron honored by Greenbriar Farm

June 22, 2005

Sgt. Tom has been named the June Horse of the Month at the Ranger Foundation of Greenbriar Farm in Keedysville. He is the most recent retiree to the farm, arriving in early June from the South Carolina National Guard Caisson Detachment.

At 17 hands high and 2,400 pounds, the 21-year-old Percheron is the largest Ranger horse.

The retirement of Sgt. Tom to Greenbriar Farm is very fitting. The farm is part of Antietam National Battlefield, which saw about 1,000 caisson horses during the Civil War's Battle of Antietam.

Sgt. Tom had a long career as the wheel horse for caisson units in the military. Prior to the South Carolina National Guard, he was part of The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery in the Caisson Platoon of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment at Fort Myer, Va.

Sgt. Tom participated in the burial of the crew of the H.L. Hunley, a submarine lost at sea during the Civil War and discovered in 1995. The vessel sank in 1864, moments after making history as the first submarine ever to sink a ship in battle. It was found on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Charleston, S.C., well preserved under sand and silt with its eight-member crew intact. After the vessel was raised, the crew was given a final burial with full military honors. Horse-drawn caissons led the procession four miles through downtown Charleston to Magnolia Cemetery, where the first two crews of the Hunley were buried.

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The Ranger Foundation is a nonprofit organization that takes in horses that have spent their lives in service to the public but can no longer perform their jobs. It is operated by volunteers and donations.

The Ranger Foundation is holding an open house Saturday, July 2, from 2 to 5 p.m. Greenbriar Farm is at the intersection of Md. 34 and Porterstown Road near Sharpsburg.

Learn more about The Ranger Foundation on the Web at www.rangerhorse.org.

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