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Officers & Horses        
Officer Andrew Lewis w/Rascal
Officer Tom Handwerk with Charlie
Officer Hank Price
Officer Jennifer Mink w/Moose
Officer Andrew Lewis with Rascal
 Officer Chris Hoyt with Javier
 Officer Tom Handwerk with Charlie
 Officer Hank Price
 Officer Jennifer Mink with Moose

On Patrol        
Patrolling flood waters on Harriet Island
Officers Andy Lewis & Gerry Johnson preparing to patrol the flood waters on Harriet Island
Officer Gerry Johnson ready to patrol the flood waters
Jen Mink riding Jett
Chris Hoyt riding Javier
Mat Jones riding Chase
(Photos taken by someone who saw the Mounted Patrol and shared them)

Training Academy - 2016
Officer Mink’s First Three Days of Training (April 4, 5 and 6, 2016)

Since 1988 the Musical Ride Branch of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the “RCMP”) has offered a two week Mounted Police Seminar to mounted law enforcement units. It is held at the Musical Ride Stables at the Canadian Police College located in Ottawa, Ontario.
The Musical Ride is made up of members of the RCMP who are selected to join the prestigious unit of 32 riders who travel the world as good will ambassadors of the RCMP and Canada. They perform intricate figures and drills choreographed to music.
The St. Paul Mounted Police Foundation has paid much of the cost for members of the SPPD Mounted Unit attending the Mounted Police Seminar to improve their riding abilities to make them more effective mounted police officers.
Officer Jen Mink is attending the seminar and is providing reports of her experiences and photographs.
Officer Mink indicates it has taken some adjustments on her part to fit in “up north.” That included the speed limit being in kilometers, temperatures being in Celsius and moisture falls being measured in centimeters.
She has found the seminar to be “amazing” and describes the instructors as “fun, very patient, kind and helpful.” Officer Mink has been provided with a different horse on each of her first three days of the seminar. As with the horses used by the SPPD Mounted Unit, each has its own personality and quirks. One loved being groomed while another seemed to want to sink his teeth into something or some part of Officer Mink.
The first critical point covered with the seminar attendees is the importance of your seat. If your seat is off, then your legs, upper body and hands will be off balance as well. Officer Mink is seeking to follow the advice she has been given, but has found it a “pain in her rear.” She says, however, the instructors view her as improving and thus her pain is leading to gain.
Officer Mink reports day three was a tough one with many muscles hurting. The training ended with encouraging words from the instructors to the attendees that they all showed willingness to learn and improvements in the first three days. She then went outside, back to her lodging with three fresh inches (make that 7.5 centimeters) of snow to remind her of home.

Officer Mink’s Second Week at RCMP Mounted Police Seminar

After a week spending more time in the saddle than she was accustomed to, Officer Mink was ready for a weekend off. She spent it resting, icing and a little sight-seeing. She explored the ByWard Market area and the Canadian War Museum. The ByWard Market is a mix of open air markets and courtyards among restored buildings providing shopping, cafes, pubs and other attractions in Ottawa. The War Museum was built in 2005 and covers all facets of Canada’s military past.
Officer Mink’s second week started extraordinarily well. As she puts it, “I finally found my seat!” Riding a horse is much like dancing, good posture and positioning of hands, body and legs are essential. Fellow member of the SPPD Mounted Unit Chris Hoyt responded to Jen’s announcement by advising her that Officer Mink’s seat was always there below her lower back. Officer Mink looks forward to Officer Hoyt attending his first week at the Mounted Police Seminar.
Officer Mink believes the two days out of the saddle allowed her body to recover from all of the riding and the time off allowed her to be more able to relax and implement the advice she had been given by the training staff. Officer Mink was thrilled to find she was able to handle the seated trot with proper placement and movement of her hips to move with the horse the way they are supposed to. Such a great feeling! The instructors complimented her on her progress, noting how good she looked, but were quick to direct her to ride with quieter hands.
From the seated trot, Monday afternoon brought the canter. Unfortunately it resulted in two unintentional dismounts by others attending the training. One suffered a sprain and the other one broke her coccyx.
On Tuesday afternoon (the seventh of the ten days of the training program) the attendees had the pleasure of going to ''the farm" where the RCMP does their breeding. The farm is located in Packenham, Ontario (approximately an hour away from the training center and stables). The facility is very nice with the horses treated as if they were members of the royal family. Shortly before Officer Mink’s visit, two of the mares had fouls. Officer Mink describes them as “so gosh darn cute with amazing displays of personality in their first few days.” The caretakers at the farm document and watch everything. Even early on, from their extensive experience, the staff seems able to predict if a horse has what it takes to become a mount in the RCMP’s Musical Ride. The breeding program is superb and the selection criteria are rigid. Horses that are born a chestnut color (the horses used in the Musical Ride are all black) or otherwise not selected for the ride and horses that are retired from the breeding program or the Musical Ride are put for auction every two years. The highest bid for the most recent auction was $43,000.
On the eighth and ninth days of the training program, the participants did formation riding and drills in addition to working on their individual skills. To officer Mink’s pleasure, she was again assigned Tess as her mount. One of the members of the Musical Riders, showed Officer Mink how to get Tess to "smile." Unfortunately for Officer Mink, she experienced another type of personality displayed by Lenny, a 23 year old stallion who retired from the Musical Ride after the 2015 season. After Officer Mink groomed Lenny (to his apparent liking), she placed the saddle on him and as she was attaching the girth strap to one side, Lenny very sneakily, wrapped his head around, tucked his face under Officer Mink’s arm, and went in and bit her on the thigh. The bruise lasted several days.
On the tenth and final day of training, Officer Mink sensed the instructors were taking it easy on the riders as they knew the significant saddle time had resulted in a good amount of soreness in the participants. The morning was spent with formation riding and cantering. Going into the lunch break the instructors indicated to the participants they would be watching the Musical Ride practice session that afternoon, but to bring their helmets as there may be time for the participants to “test drive” the horses training to be members of the current Musical Ride demonstration team.
The participants joined a large group of spectators on the observation deck overlooking the practice area following lunch. The group included elementary school students on a field trip. With ten minutes remaining in the practice, Officer Mink and the other participants from the training seminar were asked if they wanted to join the ride. The riders quickly made their way down from being spectators to being participants. Officer Mink was a bit concerned with which horse she would draw and whether, despite having watched the formations numerous times, she would know which intricate maneuver was to be performed and at what time.
In the arena the instructor putting the Mounties through their paces quickly assigned the officers from the United States to horses and assured them the horses knew what to do so they should relax and “enjoy the ride.” Officer Min was assigned Viper who reminded Officer Mink of Jett, who she currently rides on the streets of St. Paul – he was beautiful, smart, but lazy.
The mounted riders formed up with the six member of the seminar scattered among different rows of four riders and horses. The RCMP riders were very welcoming and helpful during the fifteen minutes Officer Mink and the other members of the seminar were able to experience formation riding with one of the best displays of it in the world. Officer Mink vividly recalls a point at which she had not received one of the directions to “stay with the one in front” or stay with the one on your right” or cut a 45° angle up there and follow the one in front of you” she had been following. She describes her head being on a swivel, but did not see anyone making a move, at which point, she sensed her horse start to move left, so Officer Mink gave left leg correction to continue forward, at which point she heard the command, “cut to a 45° through the center” so she discontinued the correction and allowed the horse to do what it already knew he should.
At the conclusion of the ride, the group came to a halt allowing Officer Mink to look around and notice the three instructors from the last two weeks were mounted with the group as well. Officer Mink gave out her best “YEEEE HAAAA!” and “Let’s go again!” Sadly, the experience was over. The riders from the Seminar were then advised how fortunate they were as the next group of mounted officers would be attending while the Musical Ride was scheduled to be in England performing for the Queen.
Officer Mink expresses her gratitude to the St. Paul Police Department for allowing her to take the training time to attend the Seminar as well as her gratitude to the St. Paul Mounted Police Foundation and its supporters for covering the costs of travel for her to learn to be a better rider.

Officer Mink’s First Three Days of Training
Officer Mink in front of RCMP Shield.
RCMP Musical Ride Practice.
Large mirrors are placed in the training area to permit the riders to check their form.
Beautiful horses in a beautiful stable.
Members of the Musical Ride practicing their routine in the same facility used in the seminar.
One of the instructors putting seminar attendees through their paces.
The Tack Room.
Officer Mink’s Second Week at RCMP Mounted Police Seminar
Mare named Dunja and unnamed filly.
Officer Mink aboard Tess receiving instruction from RCMP Trainer Erin Beaulieu
Mounted Officers: (in Rear) Jen Mink (SPPD); Erica Beedle (California mounted posse); John Shoopman (Columbus, OH PD); Silver Valencia (Dallas, TX PD); Regina Shopman (Ohio University PD); Isabel Smeal (Spotsylvania, VA County Mounted); and Douglas Muston (Detroit, MI PD)
RCMP Training Staff: Peter Edwards, Scotty MacWilliam and Erin Beaulieu

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Jackie Scherer visit to Como Park

Portillo's Fundraiser
On Wednesday June 20, 2018, Portillo’s in Woodbury kindly allowed the St. Paul Mounted Police Foundation to do a fundraiser with 20% of amount of purchases by those requesting it going to the Foundation to use to assist the SPPD Mounted Unit.  Officers and horses stopped by to show their appreciation.

Sharing Opinions about Portillos Snacks
Javier with Portillos Employees
What's in the Bag?

EOT for Jett and Moose joining the unit.
On Thursday February 15, 2018, the SPPD recognized the end of tour for Jett. Moose’s joining of the unit was also celebrated with a formal transfer of a saddle. For complete article of Moose being donated to the Mounted Patrol, click here.

On Thursday March 9, 2017, the SPPD recognized the end of tour for King.  King had a long and distinguished service as a member of the Unit.  For Mat Jones, a current member, he has a special place as King was the first horse assigned to Officer Jones. 
Charlie’s joining of the unit was also celebrated with a formal transfer of a saddle.

Photographer Jackie Scherer, during a recent visit to Como Park, took pictures of the horses from the SPPD Mounted Unit who are staying at the park temporarily.

Officer Jen Mink with Jett at Head Start - October, 2016

Grand Old Days - June 4, 2016

Wild Rice Festival at the Harriet Alexander Nature Center - 2015

Officer Mathew Jones & Officer Christopher Hoyt

New Moon Celebration - October 30, 2014

Summer Safe Night - 2014

Minnesota State Fair - 2014

Jen Mink & Jett
Officers Hank Price & Jennifer Mink get an early visit from Santa
Hank Price

North St. Paul History Cruze Car Show - 2018

Central District Event - Pleasant Place Park/Douglas Park - September 21, 2013

Central District working with neighborhood groups to hold events in some of our local parks. This is a continuation of programs and initiatives we have been working on since May of 2013 to help develop better cooperation and communication with the community, specialty units outside of the Central District and to provide positive Law Enforcement (LE) experiences for the children in our communities. The events were attended by representatives from Central Patrol, SWAT, the Ordinance Disposal Unit (ODU), the Mounted Unit, K9 Unit, the Motors Unit and the St. Paul Fire Department.

Cops n Rodders Car Show - June 10, 2018

2012 AgStar Arena Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

AgStar Arena Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony - Minnesota State Fairgrounds 4/29/2012

2011 YWCA Horse Camp for Kids

Colleen Wick and the good folks at Hardwood Creek Farm mentored the kids during the Basic Horsemanship station.
Lots of smiles!
Chris Tilley of the MN Farrier's Association ran the Hoof Care station.
Group Photo
Bayport Fire and EMS was on standby...luckily, they weren't very busy!
Washington County Mounted Patrol member Kris Lundquist, Deputy Vuepao Thao, and SPPD Mounted Officer Jerry Johnson had fun teaching the kids about Horse Grooming and Tack.
SPPD Mounted Officer Andy Lewis and the posse members of the Washington County Sheriff Office's Mounted Patrol ran the Groundhandling, Mounting, Dismounting station.
The 2011 Horse Camp for Kids was held on Friday, October 21st, 2011 at the Washington County fairgrounds. The camp was sponsored by the St Paul Police Department's Mounted Unit in partnership with the YWCA, Washington County Sheriff's Mounted Patrol, Hardwood Creek Farm, Chris Tilley and the MN Farrier's Association, Dr. Donna Rued, DVM, Bayport Fire and EMS, and the Washington County Agricultural Society. The event received grant support from the MN Horse Council.

U2 Concert        
We were lucky to be able to help out the University of Minnesota PD with this event. Joining us was Minneapolis PD as well.
From left to right: Kay (UofM) on Casey, Andy (SPPD) on Chase, Catie (SPPD) on Jett, Robin (MPD) on Diego, Scott (MPD) on Teak, and Charlie (SPPD) on King. What a motley crew!
About 63,000 people were in the area for the concert. Some quick math says that is 10,500 people per mounted officer.
Rain made its way into the area, but it didn't seem to dampen our spirits much.
King is all ears for Bono.
The Claw has landed!
Getting tacked up.
It was a fantastic concert with a great crowd.
We're still dry at this point...
U2 Concert 7/23/2011

Eagan Safety Camp  
Eagan Safety Camp 7/19/2011

YWCA Junior Police Academy        
About 60 kids from YWCA - Saint Paul participated in this event. Part of their training as junior police officers consisted of a trip to the Saint Paul Mounted Unit's barn at Meadowview Stables in Woodbury on 07/18/2011. We gave a presentation on our role as mounted officers and spoke at length about our horses. The children had a great time and asked alot of wonderful questions.

White Bear Avenue Parade  
Officer Gerald Johnson & Officer Charlie Anderson in the White Bear Avenue Parade 7/13/2011

Jail & Bail  
Officers Huck, Painter and McGuire with the Special Olympics Athletes.
Officers and athletes who assisted on the day of the event.
Officers Huck, Painter and McGuire off to make an arrest. Students and teachers made previous arrangements to get arrested and had to contact friends and family to raise enough money for bail to get out of jail.
U of M Officer Huck on Casey, Officer Alta Painter on King and Officer Catie McGuire on Black Jack at the U of M Jail and Bail Special Olympics fundraiser on 04/13/2011.

Republican National Convention (RNC)      
Officers Jeremiah McQuay & Gerry Johnson w/horses
Mounted in Formation
RNC Protester
Officer Eric Skog w/Horses
 Officers Andy Lewis & Eric Skog w/Horses
Horses waiting for Deployment
 Nails thrown into the road to injure the horses

Historical St. Paul Police Mounted Unit Photos