Lexington Police horse dies after brief illness

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Lexington Police horse has died after brief illness, according to police.

They say the 13-year-old Percheron died Thursday evening, following a brief illness.

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Finley was born in 2005 and raised by a Harris County, Texas sheriff’s deputy, who donated Finley to Lexington Police in 2013,according to officials.

Police say during his time with the department, Finley partnered with two riders, Officer Brian King and Officer Ricky Yates.

Finley was trained to work in an urban environment to provide crowd control and high-visibility patrols in the downtown area, according to police.

“After he completed his initial training, Finley was assigned to me and we spent three years working together,” Officer King said. “He was one of the better street horses the unit ever had and never did anything to endanger me as his rider, even if he got spooked or nervous. Finley was a tough horse, but a big teddy bear at heart. I’m grateful to have been able to spend time with him.”

They tell us that he was 18.2 hands tall and approximately 1,900 pounds, Finley was the largest horse in the Mounted Unit.

“Finley assumed everyone he met was there to give him a treat,” Officer Yates recalled. “He had the best hair in the business, too! Finley was a high-maintenance diva some days, but he would give you everything he had every day of his life. He was a true soldier.”

Police say Finley became ill and stopped eating on Sunday.

He was taken to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, where he passed peacefully while in the excellent care of veterinary staff, according to the Lexington Police.

“While I can never replace Finley in my life or my heart, I know that with time and prayer I will learn to cope with his absence just as we cope with the absence of a loved one. Finley was family,” Officer Yates said.

Lexington Police Department mounted unit before the ribbon cutting for the Historic Courthouse Nov. 20, 2018.
Photo by Amy Wallot
Mounted police horse in downtown Lexington on Nov. 20, 2018. Photo by Parry Barrows.