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Sad farewell for wild horse who had 17-year police career

Abby with Lieutenant Phil West.

Abby with Lieutenant Phil West.

A former wild horse who gave 17 years of service as a police mount has been lost in California to complications arising from Cushings Syndrome. 

Abby was a truly versatile horse, who on some days would compete in horse shows before turning out for her police duties.

“Abby was an ambassador for and a true testament to the mentality of the wild horses,” said Lieutenant Phil West, who was Abby’s police partner for her entire career and a lifelong friend.

“She was a family companion, show and competition horse, in addition to her law enforcement duties,” he said.

“I can best describe Abby as resolute in action yet gentle in manner. Our family misses her greatly and I would like to thank the Eastern Sierra communities for their support throughout the years that she served,” he said.

Abby was a former wild mustang, foaled in 1991, and gathered from the Bureau of Land Management’s Herd Management “Area 52″, near Tonopah, in Nevada.

She came to West in 1992 from Officer Rich Perkins, of the Bishop Police Department.

In the spring of 1994, after West lost his first mustang police horse, Modoc, Abby went into training to become the replacement horse.

Abby became a familiar face in the Eastern Sierras with the inter-agency Eastern Sierra Mounted Enforcement Unit, working details from Lone Pine to Bridgeport.

She gathered thousands of loving strokes from citizens and visitors in the course of her career, the sheriff’s office said.

Abby’s career with West spanned 17 years. She began with the Bishop Police Department, from 1994 to 2002, and continued and ended her working days with the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, from 2002 to 2010.

Abby accompanied West to California Peace Officers Memorial ceremonies from 2003 to 2010.

She was retired in 2006 and worked only a few details a year, as her replacement, Bigun – also a former wild mustang – was taking a larger portion of her workload.

Abby was fully retired in 2010, with Bigun taking over all of her law-enforcement-related duties.

In addition to working mounted patrol, Abby had her shot at stardom and was featured on the Bureau of Land Management’s “Wild Horse Trading Cards” and on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet.

She was also a family companion and pet, involved with West’s children in various horse shows and high school rodeo events.

Sometimes, these events would occur on the same day as mounted details, where she would compete and then change demeanor for working the street later that same day.

Abby was euthanized on October 19.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office said staff were saddened by her loss. She was as an integral member of the mounted unit and would be greatly missed.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Karen Farrar says:

    What a Great Tribute to a Great Horse………Run Freely now until we all meet again.

  2. Lt. West says:

    Thank you horsetalk.co.nz & thank you, Karen Farrar, for your gracious comment.

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