Bron­cos’ Thun­der is stock show mar­shal

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Tom McGhee Kirk Mitchell: 303-954-1206, kmitchell@den­ver­post.com, @kirk­mitchell or den­ver­post.com/cold­cases

The grand mar­shal lead­ing the 2017 Na­tional Western Stock Show Pa­rade won’t be just another bor­ing two-legged VIP.

In­stead, Thun­der, the Bron­cos’ team mas­cot, a gray Ara­bian geld­ing, will head the tra­di­tional pa­rade of Longhorn cat­tle, horses and western wag­ons through Down­town Den­ver on Jan. 5 to kick off the 16day stock show.

“This is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for us to cel­e­brate Thun­der, not only as the best mas­cot in the NFL, but also as a sym­bol of our western spirit and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the equine com­mu­nity,” said Paul Andrews, stock show pres­i­dent.

It won’t be the first time that the po­si­tion was held by a big shot with four legs.

In 2007 there was Rin Tin Tin X, a Ger­man Shep­herd, sup­pos­edly a de­scen­dant of Rin Tin Tin, the pooch that an Amer­i­can sol­dier res­cued from a World War I bat­tle­field and went on to be­come a Hol­ly­wood star.

Other pre­vi­ous grand mar­shals have in­cluded Mayor Michael Han­cock; Fed­erico Peña, Den­ver’s first Latino mayor; Rich Karlis, for­mer bare­foot place-kicker for the Den­ver Bron­cos; and five-time NBA all-star Chauncey Billups, who played for the Uni­ver­sity of Colorado and Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton High School.

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