INDIANAPOLIS -- IMPD’s Mounted Horse Patrol Association announced the loss of one of its horses this week after the animal was put down due to age and pain.
Colonel, a Percheron Thoroughbred cross who had served on IMPD’s Mounted Patrol for the past six years, was euthanized earlier this month, according to the independent, non-profit organization which purchases all of the unit’s horses.
"He was in a lot of pain, and after much deliberation with the officers, we recognized the best thing for Colonel was to put him to rest," said Allan Whitesell, Mounted Patrol unit commander. "He was a strong horse and strong partner.”
Colonel joined the unit in March 2012 after being acquired from a farm in Bloomington. Colonel stood 16.2 hands high, or about 5-and-a-half feet (horses are measured from the ground to the top of their withers, the ridge between the shoulder blades), and weighed approximately 1,800 pounds.
"He was an incredibly strong horse. It was both intimidating and beautiful at the same time," Whitesell said.
The Mounted Horse Patrol Association was founded in 1988, and was formed as a non-profit in 1998 to assist IMPD in purchasing horses, as well as to protect the horses from city-property auction laws when they reach they end of their useful lives.
The Mounted Patrol unit is composed of seven uniformed officers and a civilian hostler who takes care of the horses. With the loss of Colonel, the unit is down to six horses. According to the Mounted Horse Patrol Association, the herd is becoming increasingly aged, with an average age of 15 years.
The association is looking for donations to help replace Colonel, as well as to build a new, permanent home for IMPD’s Mounted Patrol. More information about supporting the association can be found here.