The 31st annual Mounted Police Colloquium is going on right now at the KHP! Kristen Kovatch has the details on this part seminar, part clinic and part competition.
Mounted police from all over the country have descended on the Kentucky Horse Park for a week-long session that’s part seminar, part clinic and part competition. Civilians and their mounts who are affiliated with volunteer services are welcome to join the colloquium as well. The colloquium opened on Tuesday, September 22 and runs through Friday, September 25, concluding with a popular and much-anticipated competition in dress, equitation and an obstacle course.
The gathering has been taking place annually since 1983, produced in partnership by the Lexington Mounted Police and the Kentucky Horse Park Mounted Police. These services both sought an opportunity to create a learning forum for mounted officers with access to some of the best instructors in the world. This year’s instruction staff comes from the Kentucky Horse Park Mounted Police, the Lexington Mounted Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Maryland National Capital Park Police, Maricopa County Arizona Sheriffs Department, the Mark Waller Culver Academy Horsemanship and the London Police — essentially an all-star lineup of some of the best mounted divisions in the country.
Participants have spent this week in mounted classes, strengthening their skills with their equine partners in equitation on the flat, jumping, crowd control and sensory experiences. To give you an idea of what topics the colloquium covers, check out these video from past years:
Just in the brief few minutes covered by these videos, it’s remarkable to consider the kind of skills that must be in a police horse’s repertoire: both their ability to navigate the normal obstacles of an urban setting, as well as their unflappability in extraordinary situations such as smoke, riot control or sudden startling sounds.
With so many of us as equestrians continuing our education by taking lessons or attending clinics, it only makes sense that mounted police do the same! If you’re in the Lexington area, stop by the Kentucky Horse Park on Friday to watch the various mounted police forces in action for the competition phase of the colloquium. The action continues over the weekend with the civilian sensory clinic: members of the local mounted police help teach riders how to navigate the same obstacles from Friday’s competition.
A separate mounted police competition will take place at the KHP in October. To learn more about the mounted police educational opportunities available at the Kentucky Horse Park, see the KHP’s Education page on the park website.