Alpha & Omega Troopers are a familiar site at the nation’s biggest music festivals. The company gathers a special force of riders who travel to half a dozen festivals a year. These riders are supplemented with riders from the local area who are trained on-site in the special skills needed to protect music fans. Riders traveling to Rothbury will have just completed their seventh stint at the nation’s largest music festival, Bonnaroo, in Tennessee in June. Troopers at Bonnaroo provide security for some 100,000 music fans and campers on a 770-acre site.
“Rothbury is shaping up to be an important music festival that can hold its own with other major music events nationwide,” said Frank Keller, president and CEO of A&O. “A&O Troopers have become a welcomed part of the festival scene; the fans are familiar with the riders and horses and love to come up and pet the horses. We feel like we are providing an important service and are having fun doing it. Horse enthusiasts in Michigan are invited to test with us for a chance to share the experience of providing security for some very devoted music fans.”
Riders come from all walks of life. More than half are women. Many are ranchers and police officers. Some are mayors and sheriffs. The A&O Troopers will accomplish the work of 700 foot patrol persons. To fulfill this charge, Alpha & Omega will use 15,000 pounds of hay (one ton per day), 14,000 gallons of water, 52,000 pounds of grain and all the equipment needed to house riders and horses for seven days. Their Trooper movement rivals any road crew effort by a rock band. Troopers come from a dozen states and will travel about 50,000 miles collectively to reach their camp adjacent to the festival site.
Visitors to the camp may think they have stumbled back in time to a Wild West campsite … except that this campsite is equipped with the latest technology and communications equipment. Troopers are connected with Rothbury security and with each other by state-of-the-art radios. A command and control center is housed in the semi-trailer that doubles as transport for horses. A&O commanders work from an office in a specially-designed motor home equipped with computer, fax machine, and high speed Internet access.
In their bright red shirts atop their horses, Troopers can be easily spotted by fans. Many followers of bands like Phish, Dave Matthews, and The Dead know the Troopers and their horses by name. Alpha & Omega has been part of the concert festival world since Woodstock ’94, after which they were invited to Phish’s Clifford Ball in 1996. Since then, Alpha & Omega Troopers have been a fixture at the nation’s most popular music gatherings.
“Our Troopers are particularly good at interacting with the fans,” Keller said. “Riders are trained in public relations as well as professional security measures; horses are selected and trained to handle crowds, rough terrain, fireworks and other sensory elements.”
Alpha & Omega Mounted Security Patrol is the nation’s largest and oldest private mounted patrol. Highly trained, uniformed Troopers provide public safety services at mixed use developments, amphitheaters, music festivals and other mass gatherings at locations across the United States.
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