“It saddens us to report that a local member of the Houston Area Equine Community has lost her life in service of the Houston Police department. All too often we lose our valiant human public servants while on duty but it should be noted that service animals are also on the front lines, everyday.
It has always been a pleasure for us to both see and ride with the Houston Mounted Police during downtown parades as the horses are always the stars and the favorites with the children. Houston takes great pride in the fact that their horses are some of the best trained in the country and when retirement age nears they all have a long waiting list of qualified adopters eager to provide a forever home for the retiring public servants. You are one lucky individual if you can lay claim to the fact that your trail buddy is a retired Houston Police Patrol Pony, the most bomb-proof horses in the West.
May Charlotte rest in peace, we have appreciated her service.” ~ R.T.
A Houston Police Department horse that was spooked by traffic noise died after being hit by a moving cement truck.
The accident happened about 10:15 a.m. Thursday in the 200 block of Fannin at Congress, said HPD spokeswoman Jodi Silva.
Charlotte, a 6-year-old Tennessee Walker ridden by Officer D. Herrejon, was southbound in the center lane when a noise from behind startled her, Silva said. The horse turned to the side and backed into the front grill of a passing concrete truck in the next lane, she said.
The truck driver did not appear to be at fault, police said.
As a precaution, Herrejon was taken to St. Joseph Hospital but appeared to be uninjured.
After coming to the department untrained from Oklahoma, Charlotte spent four years with the mounted patrol. Of the department’s 38 horses, 32 are assigned to patrol duty. The others are either unassigned or in training, Silva said.
In a Facebook post announcing the horse’s death, HPD said;
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the death of Charlotte, an HPD Mounted Patrol horse, who died in the line of duty this morning in a motor vehicle accident. This is an ongoing investigation, but the driver of the vehicle is not believed to be at-fault. Her rider, Officer D. Herrejon, was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but is doing well.
Charlotte came to HPD as an unstarted 2-year old Tennessee Walker from Oklahoma. She thrived in HPD Mounted Patrol’s barefoot and natural horsemanship programs. She passed her evaluation period with flying colors and was working the streets of Downtown Houston within a short time of being started under saddle. She loved her job and was always ready to go to work putting bad guys in jail or giving nuzzles to children. She served the citizens of Houston for 4 years.
She will be missed.”