The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said goodbye today to Special, a Mounted Patrol horse that is retiring after 17 years of service.
Special was donated to the agency in 1996 and at the time, the 5 year old Thoroughbred was a retired race horse. Special stood out immediately for her unique spirit. She has worked every major event including the Sarasota County Fair, spring breaks on the beaches, and mall details during the holiday season. She has also worked the Super Bowl, college football games and her last large event was the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Until last year, she was the first mount for every new rider because of her tolerance and her abilities as a law enforcement horse.
Seven years ago, Special was diagnosed with Lymphangitis, a condition that caused her left rear leg to swell. Although she was able to work and her health was monitored closely, it was recently decided that it was best for her to retire.
Special will live out her years at Mill Creek Retirement Home for Horses in Alachua County (http://millcreekfarm.org/). Their beautiful pastures are exactly what Special needs for her condition. She will be missed by everyone in the Mounted Patrol Unit.