Meet Officer Magic: the 6.3hh new recruit to city police department

  • One of the newest recruits to the police in Ocala, Florida, has 13 years of experience in law enforcement and disaster response, and a string of awards and accolades to her name.

    Officer Magic is 15, and 27” (6.3hh) tall. She comes from Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, and is the first miniature horse to be sworn in as an honorary police officer for the US city.

    “Welcome, Officer Magic!” an Ocala Police Department (PD) spokesman said, explaining that Gentle Carousel is one of the largest equine therapy programmes in the world, visiting thousands of people every year.

    “We’re happy to announce this new partnership between Gentle Carousel and our police agency. Officer Magic will occasionally work on some of our outreach programs, including our Polar Patrol ice cream program, and our READ. literacy program.”

    Ocala PD chief Mike Balken said Magic will help “spread goodwill and build relationships” between the force and its community.

    “With her friendly personality and adorable appearance, Magic is sure to be a hit with everyone she meets,” he said.

    A Gentle Carousel spokesman told H&H Magic was one of the team who went to comfort survivors after the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut, in 2012, and the Pulse nightclub in Florida in 2016.

    “She helped the tornado survivors of Moore, Oklahoma, victims of the fires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, families in the aftermath of multiple hurricanes, families and first responders after the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, and has visited thousands of patients in children’s and veterans’ hospitals across the country,” the spokesman said.

    “Working indoors would be a challenge for any horse but Magic makes it look easy, even in high-rise buildings. She walks up and down steps, rides in elevators, walks on unusual floor surfaces, carefully moves around hospital and television studio equipment, works in small patient rooms and stays calm around unexpected sounds like ambulances, alarms and helicopters… and yes she is house-trained.

    “Magic has visited Congress in Washington, DC, Arlington National Cemetery and the 911 Memorial in New York City.  She helped teach a class at Columbia Medical School,and has been on the concert stage in Nashville, Tennessee.

    “Magic is a member of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, an award-winning non-profit charity celebrating 25 years of service in 2022. Teams of tiny horses bring love to thousands of adults and children each year inside hospitals, hospice programs, assisted living programs, and with families, veterans and first responders who have experienced traumatic events.”

    Some of Magic’s many accolades include being named one of history’s 10 most courageous animals by Time Magazine, a York distinguished service award, an American Red Cross outstanding service award and inclusion in the US Equestrian/Equus Foundation hall of fame. She is also a Breyer portrait model horse.

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