OCSD mourns loss of Clyde, a rescue horse who became key member of mounted unit

By BTB Staff

Clyde, a former Percheron Draft Horse rescued from certain death by an Orange County Sheriff’s Department reserve lieutenant, died Monday, Oct. 1, after serving as a valued member of the Mounted Enforcement Unit for 6 ½ years.

Clyde was 18.

OCSD Reserve Lt. Doug Williams discovered Clyde on a website of a Pennsylvania horse rescue group called Horses Deserve a Second Chance in Spring 2012. Clyde had been waiting his turn to be slaughtered after working as an Amish plow horse for 10 years.

Clyde and OCSD Reserve Lt. Doug Williams at a public demonstration. Photo courtesy of OCSD

Williams and his colleagues on the MEU transformed the emaciated, injured 12-year old gelding into a robust police service horse who also was a popular fixture at public events, where he interacted with thousands of children and adults.

“Unfortunately, the hard years pulling the plows eventually took their toll with arthritis and degenerative changes,” the OCSD said in a statement announcing Clyde’s passing.

Clyde had retired in September, as Williams was planning for his retirement.

Sgt. Dee Dee Kurimay, OCSD Mounted Enforcement Unit supervisor, said Clyde was a great asset to the OC community.

“Clyde was a fearless, ‘gentle giant’ … and a highly effective mount during numerous protests and incidents involving civil unrest as well as on patrol assignments,” the OCSD said in a statement.

File photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge

“Clyde will be fondly remembered and missed by (Williams), his family, and the men and women of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department who had the honor of working with him.

“Clyde, we thank you for your service.”

Click here to read more about Clyde.