Police in Portland, Oregon, are mourning the death of Ian, a 19-year-old veteran of its mounted division.
Ian, a large Belgium Draft, was the city’s oldest horse. He had served Portland since 2005 and was a favorite of children visiting the stables as he was easily recognizable with his docked tail.
Ian, whose formal name was Southwind Ian, died at the weekend after being transferred to Oregon State University’s Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Corvallis with a serious medical condition.
The mounted unit said Ian’s gentle disposition made him the perfect horse to train new officers assigned to the horse division.
He trained many officers during his seven years of service to the city and most recently helped graduate a new rider just two weeks ago.
The Police Bureau extended its gratitude to the veterinarians and staff at the veterinary hospital for their professionalism and compassion during what was described as a very challenging and emotional situation.
The current mounted unit was established in 1979 and consists of six officers, one sergeant and eight horses.