Jody Cutler dreamed of owning a horse when she was a girl. But the Moorpark resident never dreamed that she would be driving a team of them in the Rose Parade.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Cutler, 51, who will be driving a team of four ponies with her husband, Gregg. “I’ve never been to the Rose Parade. And then, to be asked to be a part of it!”
The Cutlers will be pulling one of the smallest floats in the Pasadena Rose Parade, one sponsored by the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, an independent fraternal organization dedicated to improving character.
The theme of the float is “Treasures for Always” and will depict an open egg-shaped Limoges jewel box. The float, which must be covered with organic materials, will be 13 feet high, 20 feet long and 12 feet wide. Special features include a cameo, wedding rings and a photograph of two children made out of rice, sesame seeds and poppy seeds.
It is one of three horse-powered floats this year.
The Cutlers have been driving horses for the past 22 years. As members of the American Driving Society, the two have participated in many competitions and shows.
Gregg Cutler caught his wife’s love of horses when he discovered his knack for restoring antique carriages, which allowed him to participate in her hobby.
The couple now own nine driving ponies and 10 antique carriages.
The two often take the ponies for drives over to their neighbors and even for off-roading.
“It’s real fun,” said Mary Kay Tully, 30, a former neighbor who will help at the parade. “We sometimes take the ponies cross-country over bridle trails. It gives you a whole new perspective.”
As they make their way down the parade route, Gregg Cutler will be dressed in a black tuxedo and gray top hat. Jody Cutler will be gussied up in a long red dress.
And when all is said and done, the two plan to head back to their Oakrun Ranch and enjoy the aftermath of a good drive with their loving pets.
“I always find it kind of neat to walk into the barn and have the horses leave their dinner to come and see me,” Gregg Cutler said. “It’s pretty neat to know that they depend on you and trust you that much.”