Stampeders' supporter Ted Hall of Langley, B.C., led his 24-year-old mare, Alley, through a crowd of chanting fans and camera flashes and into a hotel in downtown Vancouver late Friday afternoon.
Once inside the lobby, he mounted Alley, saluted the crowd with his left hand and rode his horse to the reception desk, where it munched on carrots and Granny Smith apples.
"This will be the fourth Grey Cup parade that she's gone in, in Vancouver, anyway," said Hall, who was dressed in a red-and-black Stampeders's jacket and white Stetson hat.
That parade of floats and marching bands will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and wind along the city's downtown streets.
Environment Canada is forecasting a steady temperature of -1 C, with clouds expected to clear by the late morning.
"It might be a little bit cool by the sounds of it, but it doesn's sound like it's going to rain, so that's going to be different for a Grey Cup parade in Vancouver from any of the ones that I remember," said Hall.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the horse tradition began at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto in 1948 and involved a man who would become mayor of the Alberta city two years later.
He said that when the Stampeders took on the Toronto Argonauts two years ago, the same hotel wasn't thrilled about the idea but eventually relented.
The 102nd Grey Cup between the Calgary Stampeders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats kicks off at 3 p.m. Sunday at BC Place Stadium.