Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Unit Takes Top Honors at National Competition

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Unit received first place in the prestigious Uniform Class competition at the National Mounted Police Colloquium in Lexington, Kentucky at the Kentucky Horse Park this year.

Five officers pose for a photo with a horse and a trophy

Mounted Unit Competition

Deputy Julie Byrd, a 23-year veteran of the Unit, and ‘Rico’, a Westphalian with three years of experience with the Unit, were a truly remarkable team and received the first place honors in the Uniform Class competition. Preparation for this class requires months of planning and hundreds of hours of scrutiny to execute properly. Two judges inspect every inch of horse, rider and tack, and there is no detail left untouched.

Also riding away with top honors at the competition were Deputy Floyd Vickery on ‘Teddy Bear’, placing fifth in Western Equitation and Deputy Melinda Capuano on ‘Rico’, placing sixth in English Equitation.

“Each time I have the privilege of watching the Mounted Unit train and serve our communities, I am reminded of the personal sacrifice it takes to do what few can do and even fewer are willing to do,” said Sergeant David Roddy, who oversees the Unit. “The Deputies who represented the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in this year’s Kentucky Colloquium each spent well over 100 hours of personal time in preparation for this training competition. This level of commitment and pursuit of excellence is why ours is one of the most respected law enforcement mounted units in the state.”

A horse and officer unit in uniform

Mounted Unit Competition

“Our Mounted Unit continues to provide our communities excellent service,” said Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard. “They serve a vital role in our policing strategy and serve as a key partner in our community policing relations. I am proud they are a mainstay in our agency and I commend the countless hours our Mounted Unit spends training and caring for the horses.”

Each year, for one week during September, Mounted Police Officers from all over the country and Canada have the unique opportunity to train and compete in a variety of events. This year, over 100 Mounted Police Officers and their horses participated. Five Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office participated in this year’s events.

The Mounted Unit has been a part of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office since their beginning as a Sheriff’s Posse in 1948. The Unit has grown in members, training, and functions to an impressive group of law enforcement professionals who provide a valuable service to the Sheriff’s Office. With 20 Mounted Deputies on the force, they are utilized for park patrol, riot response, parade details, and search and rescue missions. If you are interested in joining the ranks of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Unit, please contact Lt. Todd Hill at 248-858-1597 or hillt@oakgov.com.

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