Lexington Police Mounted Unit

HISTORY
The Lexington Mounted Police Unit began in 1982 with one horse and  rider. The unit rapidly grew in the first year to five officers due to community support and has had as many as ten officers and ten horses assigned. There are currently six officers, a sergeant, and seven horses in the unit.   


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 barn for hay and maintenance equipment, and 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 feet 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 doing. A mounted officer can accomplish what 8-10  officers on foot are able to do. 


TRAINING
Our training program is based on natural horsemanship principles where officers work together with their assigned horse partners to overcome the obstacles they are faced with every day on the street. New officers must successfully complete 10-12 weeks of basic training that includes grooming, first aid, ground work, equitation, formation riding, jumping, and other necessary skills. Regularly scheduled training for all officers and mounts occurs year round. In addition to the unit trainers 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, Shelby Hume, Stephanie Church, Shawna White, and Cheryl Andrews 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. 


The Officers

Sergeant Joe Eckhardt

Sgt. Joe Eckhardt and Bishop

Supervisor Sgt. Eckhardt

Joined LPD: 1999

Assigned to Mounted Unit: 2013

Assigned mount: Bishop


Bishop

Breed: Percheron/Thoroughbred

Born: 2009

Height/weight: 16.3 hands/1615 lbs.

Serving since: 2013

Officer Scott Lynch

Ofc. Scott Lynch and Aden

Unit Trainer Ofc. Lynch

Joined LPD: 1992

Assigned to Mounted Unit: 2013

Assigned mount: Aden


Aden

Breed: Percheron/Thoroughbred

Born: 2007

Height/weight: 17.2 hands/1635 lbs.

Serving since: 2011

Officer Brian King

Ofc. Brian King and Houston

Unit Trainer Ofc. King

Joined LPD: 1995

Assigned to Mounted Unit: 2014

Assigned mount: Houston


Houston

Breed: Percheron/Thoroughbred

Born: 2013

Height/weight: 17 hands/1600 lbs.

Serving since: 2016

Officer Scott Falconberry

Ofc. Scott Falconberry and Gandalf

Ofc. Scott Falconberry
Joined LPD: 1999
Assigned to Mounted Unit: 2016
Assigned mount: Gandalf


Gandalf
Breed: Percheron/QH
Born: 2002
Height/weight: 16.1 hands/1515 lbs.
Serving since: 2014



Officer Ricky Yates

Ofc. Ricky Yates and Finley

Ofc. Ricky Yates
Joined LPD: 2009
Assigned to Mounted Unit: 2016
Assigned mount: Finley


Finley
Breed: Percheron
Born: 2005
Height/weight: 18.3 hands/1920 lbs.
Serving since: 2013

Officer Shawn Davis

Ofc. Shawn Davis and Yoder

Ofc. Shawn Davis
Joined LPD: 2007
Assigned to Mounted Unit: 2016
Assigned mount: Yoder


Yoder
Breed: Appendix QH/Belgian
Born: 2002
Height/weight: 16.1 hands/1215 lbs.
Serving since: 2017

Officer Jeff Blanton

Ofc. Jeff Blanton and Zane

Ofc. Jeff Blanton
Joined LPD: 2005
Assigned to Mounted Unit: 2016
Assigned mount: Zane


Zane
Breed: Percheron/Appendix QH
Born: 2007
Height/weight: 16.2 hands/1540 lbs.
Serving since: 2017