Police horse Sgt. Major retires today

His police career formally ends today, but Sergeant Major has chased crooks, trained other police and taken a punch.

All in a day’s work for one the department’s favorite patrol horses.

The 17-year-old quarter horse will be the second horse to get a retirement ceremony today at 10 a.m. at the Mounted Patrol stables, 7331 Oakwood Drive, in Swope Park.

Police announced his story Tuesday:

He will return to Susan Davis of Cameron, who donated him, and spend quiet days in a pasture.

Police say he can no longer work because of a duty related injury suffered in 2011, when he tore tendons and ligaments in his ankle. It never quite healed right.

It happened in Westport when the horse was helping officers check on armed suspects. They arrested four of them and confiscated their illegal guns.

The year before his injury, an 18-year-old punched Sergeant Major in the face when police were trying to break up a large fight in Ruskin Park.

The teen was first person charged under a new law that made it a crime to assault police animals. A judge sentenced him to a $2,500 fine and two years probation.

The horse was also the primary mount in a youth riding program for urban-core children, and some of them will be at his retirement ceremony.

And since 2007, he has been the horse used in training all new mounted patrol officers.

“If we had room,” officer Clark Collings said, “all of us would take him.”

Officer Chad Fenwick said, “Everybody loves him; he taught us all how to be police officers on a horse.”

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