A US police force has welcomed the first foal of its “exciting” breeding programme.
New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) mounted section started the programme to help secure the horse-power it will need in the future.
Tebo Stardust, a Percheron/throughbred colt, was born on 17 March weighing around 120lb and is “doing fine”.
The name “Tebo” was chosen by a competition winner, who named him after her grandfather — a former serving police officer.
Dave Waguespack, the mounted patrol unit’s lead instructor, told H&H the colt is being well handled and is getting used to the noises and goings-on around his paddock.
He added that temperament is the “number one” priority for their police horses.
The force formerly bought its horses from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
These equines were bred and trained to work in similar situations to those that police horses face.
However, when the prison revealed it was ending its breeding programme last year, NOPD decided to secure the bloodlines itself.
The force bought two in-foal mares — Endy and Allie — with money from a generous donation to start its own scheme.
“It is very exciting,” added Mr Waguespack. “The department is committed and hopefully we can make it a successful long-term programme.”
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All being well, Allie is set to foal at the end of next month.
The mounted unit is now hoping to raise more money to fund a larger turnout area for its 25 horses.
“Our goal is to expand the size and the reach of the mounted unit so that the horses and officers are able to patrol additional areas on a regular basis,” said Superintendent Michael S Harrison.
“Right now the horses are primarily used to patrol the French quarter and central business district.
“We hope to continue to develop the division so that the mounted unit will be able to become an integral part of patrols in neighbourhoods around the city.”
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