Memorial Service for Police Horse Touches Toronto
More than 1,500 people honored the memory of Brigadier, an equine member of the Metro Toronto Police mounted unit who was tragically killed in the line of duty, by attending a special memorial service in downtown Toronto on Monday, March 6.
Dignitaries including Ontario’s Lt. Governor, James Bartleman, Toronto mayor David Miller, and the Toronto Chief of Police Bill Blair were joined by hundreds of police officers and other service personnel, some from as far away as Vancouver, B.C. In addition to an eight-horse honor guard from the Metro Toronto unit, officers and horses from the Kingston, Ontario, and Niagara Regional mounted police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Governor General’s Horse Guards also attended.
Brigadier, a 9-year-old Belgian cross, is credited with saving the life of his rider, Constable Kevin Bradfield, when he bore the brunt of what was allegedly a deliberate head-on collision by the enraged driver of a minivan on the evening of Feb. 24 in Toronto’s east end. Both of the chestnut’s front legs were shattered, and police officers had to euthanatize him at the scene.
Bradfield suffered broken ribs and minor neck and leg injuries, but had recovered sufficiently to attend the service and speak on behalf of his partner in law enforcement. In a voice that broke several times with emotion, he said, “Brig taught me about the bond between officer and horse. I am grateful for the chance to say goodbye to my partner, and to tell him that being in the saddle will never be the same
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