He’s the Sergeant Major everyone grew to love, and now he’s stepping into retirement.
Sergeant Major is a much-admired police horse in Missouri, who gave sterling service in Kansas City for many years.
His retirement was marked on Wednesday with a special ceremony.
Sergeant Major worked at the department for more than six years and is the longest-serving horse to retire.
His career has been ended by a duty-related injury.
On July 23, 2011, Sergeant Major helped conduct a car check on armed suspects in Westport.
Mounted officers took four people into custody and recovered four illegal guns, but during the incident Sergeant Major stepped off a curb in such a way that he tore tendons and ligaments in his ankle.
After treatment and rest, Sergeant Major returned to duty, but the injury continued to plague him.
Although he continually pushed himself to his limits, officers and the department veterinarian decided it was time for him to retire.
The 17-year-old quarter horse will return to the woman who donated him, Susan Davis, of Cameron, Missouri.
He is well enough to enjoy the pasture life but can no longer keep up with the rigors of patrol work. Officers said they will miss Sergeant Major greatly.
“If we had room, all of us would take him,” Officer Clark Collings said.
Sergeant Major has been the horse on which all mounted officers have trained since 2007.
“He taught us all how to be police officers on a horse,” Officer Chad Fenwick said. “Everybody loves him.”
Sergeant Major also has been the primary horse used in the Mounted Patrol’s youth riding program, which teaches urban-core children riding and horsemanship. Youth riding participants were present at Sergeant Major’s retirement ceremony.
Sergeant Major has earned some notoriety in other ways, as well. He was the first to take advantage of a 2010 city ordinance that made it a crime to assault police animals.
An 18-year-old punched him in the face while he was trying to break up a large fight in a Ruskin park. The teen received a $US2500 fine and two years of probation.