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Mono County Sheriff’s police horse dies

October 23, 2013

Abby, the Mustang Police Horse. Photo/Submitted

Mono County Sheriff’s Office lost one of its most popular team members this past week.

Abby, the Mustang Police Horse, died Saturday, Oct. 19.

“Abby was an ambassador for and a true testament to the mentality of the wild horses,” said Lt. West. “She was a family companion, and a show and competition horse, in addition to her law enforcement duties.

Abby had a 17-year career span as a mounted patrol horse with partner Lt. Phil West and retired in 2010, according to a sheriff’s department news release.

Abby was a former wild mustang, foaled in 1991, and gathered from the BLM Herd Management “Area 52,”’ near Tonopah.

Lt. Phil West received Abby in 1992 from Officer Rich Perkins of the Bishop Police Department, the release stated.

In the spring of 1994, after Lt. 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 Sierra with the inter-agency Eastern Sierra Mounted Enforcement Unit, working details from Lone Pine to Bridgeport and she gathered thousands of loving strokes from citizens and visitors in the course of her career.

Abby began with the Bishop Police Department (1994-2002) ended her career with the Mono County Sheriff’s office (2002-2010), according to the news release.

“Abby accompanied Lt. West to the California Peace Officers Memorial from 2003-2010. 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 BLM’s, “Wild Horse Trading Cards,” and on Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet.

She was also a family companion and pet, involved with Lt. 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, the news release stated.

Abby’s death was due to complications of Cushing’s Syndrome.

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

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