SDPD Horse Auction Ends Soon

City budget cuts have put the horse patrol out to pasture

By Elizabeth Ireland
|  Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010  |  Updated 9:12 AM PDT
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Put Out to Pasture

Mark Sackett

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Put Out to Pasture

After 27 years, the city's mounted police unit rides off into the sunset.
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Seven police horses, forced into retirement due to budget cuts, are being sold through an online auction.

With one day left to bid, the horses were fetching anywhere from $6,100 to $10,600, according to the La Jolla Light.

A crowd of potential buyers gathered in Balboa Park last week to walk around the stalls and pet the long noses and soft fur of a small group of seasoned San Diego police department vets.

Pro-horse support groups were also on hand to check out potential buyers and make sure the horses are going to good homes.

“There's always sadness," said Bob Kanaski with the SDPD. "This unit has done great service, not only for the city of San Diego, but for us as well as a police department."

The equestrian patrol went into service in early 1983 becoming a valuable, versatile police asset as well as a civic promotional tool. Balboa Park was the horse patrol's base of operations but the unit often worked the beach areas, for crowd control on holiday weekends -- places like McGonigle Canyon, Penasquitos Canyon and other hard-to-police terrain.

San Diego city leaders expect to save about $250,000 a year by disbanding the unit.

The auction ends Thursday, Feb 10. You can find out more information through Publicsurplus.com.

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