County Executive Thomas P. Gordon invites the public to a ceremony Thursday where five officers and two horses will graduate from training to join the New Castle County Police Mounted Patrol Unit.
The ceremony, free and open to the public, is at 1 p.m. at the indoor arena of Carousel Park & Equestrian Center in Pike Creek, near the county site's main office. For GPS, the address is 3700 Limestone Road, Wilmington, DE 19808.
Col. Elmer M. Setting, chief of police, will present badges to all new members of the Mounted Patrol Unit, including its new horses.
Graduating personnel are Officers Richard Shughart, Roosevelt Lockett, Alexis Annone, Corey Nicholson and Scott Crum. Young Clydesdales graduating with them are Warden and Wrangler. Veteran horses joining them are Spartan, Titan and Diesel.
Mounted Patrol Unit Commander Sgt. James Henasey will participate in the ceremony, as will Master Cpl. William Brown, Master Cpl. Jose Baerga, Senior Cpl. Erich Selhorst and Officer First Class Maura Schultz, along with horses Elvis, Darby, Buddy and Tonka. Selhorst also will narrate the riding program.
Gordon commended the officers, who have completed intensive training, as well as the Clydesdales graduating with them.
“It’s hard to believe it’s already been nearly three years since I purchased Warden and Wrangler, two Clydesdale colts, to train and become police horses,” he said.
When Warden and Wrangler were introduced to the public in November 2013, Setting thanked Gordon for buying them to replenish the Mounted Patrol Unit, noting Clydesdales make excellent police horses because of their calm disposition and imposing stature.
Setting offered more appreciation in advance of Thursday's event.
“I want to thank County Executive Gordon and Public Safety Director Joe Bryant for their never ending supporting for police as a whole,” he said. “I also thank my chain of command -- from Maj. Vaughn Bond to Capt. Robert McLucas, Lt. Jason Atallian and Sgt. Henasey -- for ensuring the Mounted Patrol remains a strong and vital part of our police force."
Setting also commended recently retired Sgt. Mary Devine for her longtime dedication and hard work training officers and horses for mounted patrol service.
Warden and Wrangler’s upcoming graduation recently was featured on New Castle County's public access cable television station NCCTV, which airs on Comcast Channel 22 and Verizon Channel 29.
The show, "People’s Parks 5 Clydesale Colts" with Melody Kitchen may be seen at www.YouTube.com/NCCDE.
Related NCCTV shows:
County Executive Gordon introduces new foals, November 2013
Clydesdales of NCC, July 2014
Spotlight 44 Clydesdale Colts, September 2015
People’s Parks 1 Clydesdale Colts, April 2016