The Denver Broncos mascot is boarding at Brosch's Stable in Lake Township.
LAKE TWP. For more than 40 years, Brosch's Stable has housed and trained national champions. This week, it's home to a different kind of celebrity.
Thunder, the Denver Broncos mascot, is boarding at the stables between Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement festivities.
The 19-year-old Arabian gelding is used to the spotlight. He opens each Broncos home game and celebrates every touchdown by running from end zone to end zone. He's appeared at several Super Bowls. And this year he became a Breyer model horse.
It's the first time Thunder, the NFL's only live mascot, and his human entourage have made the 22-hour trek from Denver to Canton.
When owner Sharon Magness Blake heard that longtime Broncos owner Pat Bowlen was being inducted into the Hall of Fame, she knew they had to make the journey to honor him.
"Pat always loved the horse. He always had a special affinity for the horse," Blake said.
It was Bowlen who re-introduced the live mascot in 1993, she said.
Bowlen died in June.
Thunder, also known as Shadow, is the third of Blake's horses to carry the mascot mantle.
"He's just a special horse. He's very loving and kind. He loves people. Loves his job," she said. "We hang out on the football field for the entire game except halftime, and he's just a joy to be with."
Before agreeing to travel to Canton, Blake and her team scoped out multiple locations around the area. They also toured the Broschs' stable before choosing to board him there.
"We said we'd be proud to have them," said Larry Brosch, who owns the stable with his wife, Teresa.
The kids who visit the stable for training were excited about the visitor, said Teresa Brosch.
"It's good for the kids. They can come out and he's very friendly, very photogenic. He's a real sweetheart."
Thunder will make several appearances this week:
From 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Hall of Fame.
At the Hall of Fame Game Thursday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Friday afternoon at a Boys and Girls Club event in Massillon
Leading the Broncos contingent in The Canton Repository Grand Parade on Saturday.
Saturday afternoon's HOF Fun Fest at the Hall of Fame.
Reach Jessica at 330-580-8322 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @jholbrookREP.