MPD horse training injury serves as cautionary tale - KMSP-TV

MPD horse training injury serves as cautionary tale

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

A Minneapolis police officer is recovering after falling off her horse during a training exercise on Wednesday.

The unnamed veteran rider was working with new recruits when the accident happened, and she is one of three full-time members of the mounted patrol.

The horse is a 7-year-old male thoroughbred. He has been with the department for three years, working the streets for most of that time. While this team was experienced, the incident serves as a cautionary tale to both trained riders and recruits.

Minneapolis police likes to pull out 1,500 pounds of muscle to keep the city in line -- especially in the wee hours of the morning.

"Kind of our bread and butter is the bar close at night. We go down and work the street, clean the streets off," Sgt. Chris Lokke said of the MPD's horse patrol.

As a group of new cadets were practicing crowd control on Wednesday, one of the horses spooked.

"During that exercise, for whatever reason, the horse that she was riding started bucking a little bit," Sgt. Lokke said.

"Watching her go down, she went down off the front end of the horse a little bit and landed on her back, and one of the front legs came across and looked like it might have caught her in the jaw," he said.

The officer was rushed to North Memorial. She was wearing her helmet and bullet proof vest which may have helped with the fall, but she did suffer a number of minor injuries.

"She's doing really well right now," Sgt. Lokke said. "They had her up walking about a little bit, checking to make sure there's no other injuries and stuff."

Sgt. Lokke heads up the mounted patrol. He says, while Wednesday's training was intended to teach the recruits to become more familiar working around the horses, every exercise is also a learning opportunity for horse and rider -- regardless of experience.

"Lesson learned is that you're dealing with an animal and anything can happen," Lokke said. "At any time, you just have to be prepared for it."

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