FOUR STALLIONS were retired from the Delhi’s mounted police unit on September 30, decreasing their strength to 35 from its sanctioned strength of 95. Of the four, two had won several medals in sporting events during the all India Police Meet held every year.
Confirming the retirement of the stallions, Special Commissioner of Police (provisioning and logistics) Ajay Kahsyap told The Indian Express that they have approached the Indian Army to buy a good breed from them. “We have got clearance from the ministry for adding horses to our unit. In the coming months, at least 15 horses will possibly be inducted into the unit,” he added.
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Kashyap also said of the four horses, two excelled in sporting events while the other two were used to maintain law and order. “It all depends on the ability of the horses. If they are quick and agile, they will be trained for sports,” he said. All the retired horses are given to a trust, which will care for them till they die, added Kashyap.
Sources said the horses were retired after they crossed 16 years – the official age of retirement. The names of the stallions are Kavita, Love, Hero and Karishma.
Kavita, a mare, and Love specialised in equestrian long jump and tent pegging competitions during the All India Police Meet, which is held every year. A rider told The Indian Express that both have won more than 30 medals in their 16 years of service.
“We develop a close bond with all the horses who are inducted in the unit. It is a cycle, but we will remember them all,” added the rider.
Hero and Karishma specialised in law and order. They were used to control the situation during the Trilokpuri riots in 2014, said officials.
For the past decade, no new horse has been inducted into the unit and the number of horses have also been decreasing every year. In December 2014, a mare was retired, while early this year, two male horses were retired.
Sources said a stallion, Bhima, – who was in service for 16 years – died after a brief illness in June last year.
Of the total horses, 32 are lodged in the stable yard at the Provisioning and Logistics unit of Delhi Police in North Delhi’s Civil Lines area, while three are kept at the Kalkaji police station in south Delhi. Back in the 1980s, sources said, the unit had 80 horses in the Civil Lines stable. Now, only 35 remain.
Officials said the horses eat a mixture of barley, Bengal gram and choker (an animal feed which is their favourite food). They are also given grass in the evening as a supplement, they added.
For each horse, there is a handler who belongs to the constable or head constable rank.