Lexington Division of Police Mounted Unit
575 West Sixth Street
Lexington, KY 40508
Hours of Operation: 9-5 Monday-Friday
859-258-3868



History
The Lexington Mounted Police Unit began in 1982 with one horse and rider. The unit rapidly grew in the first year to five due to community support and has had as many as eight officers and 9 horses assigned.

The unit initially stabled at the Kentucky Horse Park, but in 1996 moved into its own stables located a 575 West Sixth Street. The complex includes a 4,800 square foot barn with 12 stalls; an office and roll-call room; a 7,200 square foot indoor training arena; a storage structure for hay and maintenance equipment; two paddocks and a pasture.

Duties
The unit's main duties include providing high visibility patrols to the Downtown Entertainment District and other selected areas of Lexington. In addition to having the same responsibilities as other police officers while on patrol, their duties also include providing demos, barn tours, and special events.

Mounted units are very effective for crowd control and management. Officers are positioned at approximately 9 foot while mounted giving them a distinct advantage to see over the assembly. They are able to identify problems and more efficiently move the crowd than officers on foot are capable of. A mounted officer can accomplish what 8-10 officers on foot are able to do.

Training
Our training program is based on Natural Horsemanship where officers work together with their assigned horse partners to overcome the obstacles they are faced with everyday on the street. New officers must successfully complete 10-12 weeks of basic training that includes, grooming, first aid, ground work, riding and other necessary equestrian skills. Regularly scheduled training for all officers and mounts occurs year round. In addition to the unit trainer assisting officers with issues that may develop, officers are also expected to train their horses outside of scheduled lessons.

Horse Requirements
Horses selected for The Lexington Police Mounted Unit must be at least 16 hands high and weigh approximately 1400 lbs. They must also possess a temperament suitable for the rigors and variety of sensory stimuli that are a part of policing the streets of downtown Lexington. We are always looking for another horse to join the unit and they are either purchased or donated. If you are interested in this, please contact Sergeant Joseph Eckhardt at jeckhardt@lexingtonpolice.ky.gov.

Competitions
Over the years the Lexington Mounted Police have competed in numerous competitions ranging all over the United States and Canada. The unit also participates annually in the North American Police Equestrian Competition.

Special Thanks To...
Trainers Helmut Graetz, Karen Winn, Stephanie Church, and Shawna White for the many hours spent over the years to help make the unit one of the top mounted units in the country. To Pat and Linda Parelli and the Parelli Natural Horsemanship group and Karen Scholl for the many training hours they have provided to the unit.

To the Kentucky Horse Park for its support and dedication to the National Mounted Police Colloquium held at the Horse Park every year in Lexington, KY.

To the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and Lexington Mayor for their support of the mounted unit.



Meet The Officers

Sgt. Joe Eckhardt

Supervisor: Sgt. Joe Eckhardt
Joined the Lexington Division of Police: 1999
Assigned to the Mounted Unit: 2013
Assigned Mount: Gandalf

GANDALF
Breed: Percheron/Quarter Horse
Born: 2002
Height: 16.1 hands
Weight: 1340 lbs.
Serving since: 2014



Officer Marty Parks

Officer Marty Parks
Joined the Lexington Division of Police: 1989
Assigned to the Mounted Unit: 1998
Assigned Mount: Nomar

NOMAR
Breed: Percheron/Thoroughbred
Born: 1994
Height: 16.3 hands
Weight: 1450 lbs.
Serving since: 2000



Officer Ray Alexander

Officer Ray Alexander
Joined the Lexington Division of Police: 2001
Assigned to the Mounted Unit: 2005
Assigned Mount: Paco

PACO
Breed: Percheron/Thoroughbred 
Born: 2000
Height: 17 hands
Weight: 1630 lbs.
Serving since: 2003



Officer Scott Lynch

Officer Scott Lynch
Joined the Lexington Division of Police: 1992
Assigned to the Mounted Unit: 2013
Assigned Mount: Aden

ADEN
Breed: Percheron/Thoroughbred 
Born: 2007
Height: 17.2
Weight: 1460
Serving since: 2011



Officer Brian King

Officer Brian King
Joined the Lexington Division of Police: 1995
Assigned to the Mounted Unit: 2014
Assigned Mount: Finley

FINLEY
Breed: Percheron
Born: 2005
Height: 18.1 hands
Weight: 1800 lbs.
Serving since: 2013