The horses and officers of the Mounted Unit are part of the police department's Bureau of Special Operations. This unit patrols downtown Lexington and assists with crowd control at major events. The Mounted Unit is supported in large part by the non-profit organization Friends of the Lexington Mounted Police.
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About the Mounted Unit
The Lexington Mounted Police Unit began in 1982 with one horse and rider. The unit rapidly grew in the first year to five due to community support and has had as many as eight officers and 9 horses assigned.
We initially stabled at the Kentucky Horse Park, but in 1996 moved into our own stables located a 575 West Sixth Street. The complex includes a 4,800 square foot barn with 12 stalls; an office and roll-call room; a 7,200 square foot indoor training arena; a storage structure for hay and maintenance equipment; two paddocks and a pasture.
The unit's main duties include providing high visibility patrols to the Downtown Entertainment District and other selected areas of Lexington. In addition to having the same responsibilities as other police officers while on patrol, our duties also include providing demos, barn tours, parades, special events, and crowd control.
In the horse capital of the world we pride ourselves on our horses and our training programs for horse and officer. The curriculum is based on Natural Horsemanship where officers work together with their assigned horse partners to overcome the obstacles they are faced with everyday on the street.
New officers must successfully complete 10-12 weeks of basic training that includes, grooming, first aid, ground work, riding and other necessary equestrian skills. Our horses must be at least 16 hands high, which is 5 feet 4 inches tall, measured up to the point where the neck meets the body of the horse.
The horses selected for Mounted Patrol must also have the proper temperament and demeanor for this type of work. Only about 20 percent of the horses reviewed for use on the Mounted Patrol are able to complete the training.