Calgary, AB,

Calgary police Mounted Unit welcomes new horse

The Calgary Police Service Mounted Unit is welcoming a new Police Service Horse (PSH) to the team.

Following the loss of PSH Ranger late last year, the Service’s Mounted Unit has added a 12-year-old Percheron cross gelding to their team. The gelding, named Ortona, has a background in show jumping and eventing and is expected to be a friendly addition to the unit.

Last year, the Mounted Unit implemented a new naming tradition to pay tribute to our country’s veterans. All new horses will now be named after historical Canadian battle honours, an award determined by The Canadian Forces that provides public recognition for participation in significant battles. PSH Ortona is the second horse in the Mounted Unit to be named under this new tradition, following PSH Vimy who joined the unit in June 2016.

The Battle of Ortona occurred during the Second World War in Italy in December 1943. Over 1,300 Canadians were killed during the week of fighting.

The Mounted Unit is authorized for four constables and one Animal Care Coordinator who oversees the training and caretaking of all four horses. Having officers on horseback provides unique advantages to the Service that officers in patrol cars are sometimes limited by, such as having a higher observation vantage point. As well, officers can be more effective in urban search and rescue situations, patrolling of parks, wooded areas and riverbanks, and in crowd management and de-escalation.