After three years with the Omaha Police Department's Mounted Patrol Unit, the time has come for 18-year-old equine officer, Blaze to retire due to chronic problems with his hooves.
Instead of walking on harsh concrete, Blaze will spend the rest of his days grazing through soft pastures on his rider, Officer Nathan Waller's family farm near Toledo, Ohio.
“We wanted to give him an early retirement so he can walk on grass, heal up and enjoy himself,” Waller told The Omaha World Herald. “We want him to be comfortable.”
To commemorate the contribution Blaze has made to the department, his fellow officers treated him to a retirement party complete with a very special equine-inspired "cake".
Blaze's special treat consisted of a bale of hay topped with carrots, sliced apples and whipped cream. Despite the sweet indulgences, Officer Blaze seemed most interested in the hay - a result of his "blue collar nature" according to his pal, Officer Waller!
Blaze and another horse were donated from the Ashland Police Department in 2014. During his years with the Omaha Police, Blaze worked several major events, including the College World Series, Septemberfest, Cinco de Mayo and the Bank of the West Memorial Park concerts.
“He was a rock for us,” Waller said. “There was not really a whole lot that could scare him. He’d be the strong horse that the other horses would look at in a crowd and know they were going to be OK.”
He even received the honor of serving as the riderless horse during fallen Officer Kerrie Orozco’s funeral procession in 2015. Blaze will be missed, but his brothers in blue are pleased to know his retirement will be spent in comfort.
H/T to The Omaha World Herald
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Featured Image via Facebook/Omaha Police Mounted Patrol