A quick note: the next time you see a state funeral on television, look closely at the horses pulling the bier. Do they look familiar? Have you perhaps seen them somewhere before?
For years, the H.J. Heinz Company in Pittsburgh (the ketchup/pickle/condiment people) promoted their company with an impressive hitch of black Percheron horses. They toured the country and appeared at countless parades and fairs and special events and were highly respected in the upper echelon of heavy horse hitches. The company discontinued the hitch in 2006.
The news this week is that the horses will be able to stay together and receive the best of care. Heinz has donated them to Arlington National Cemetery, outside Washington DC, where the horses will be used for graveside services.
If the famous cemetery seems like an unusual retirement home, consider this: company heiress Theresa Heinz is married to US Senator John Kerry, so Heinz does have some political as well as equine "pull" in Washington.