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A former racehorse finds a new life and new hope
When the big Standardbred "Spud" was led
out for bidding at a local Fraser Valley auction, the horse's good disposition caught
Kym Slater's eye. Kym couldn't resist the handsome fellow and brought him home for
her family to ride. After five long years of riding and loving her adorable Spud, Kym, who is 5'3" tall,
decided that Spud was just a little too tall for her!
From auction to the Police force
Spud was born in New Jersey, USA as Southwind Marcasit. Later, the horse was
re-named Imamadpan and nicknamed Spud. His sire was the world famous pacing race horse,
Arts Place, and although Spud was purchased for $160,000 as a youngster, he just didn't take to pacing racing like his dad and only earnt $95 in his brief
pacing racing career.
Kym shares a special moment
Kristen and Spud relaxing
Kristen had been searching for a good trail horse for her husband. It turned out that Spud was just the right size and he was
a terrific trail horse too! In fact, it was soon noticed after Spud settled into his new home with Kristen and her
husband, that Spud was so impressive that "when we found how good he was on the trails we thought
we'd introduce him to the Vancouver Police Department mounted squad."
It wasn't long before the Standardbred that had caught Kym's eye at auction completed his police work training
which included full crowd control and riot
training. The Vancouver Police Department Mounted Squad regularly trains with the VPD Crowd Control
Unit to get the horses conditioned to loud noises such as shotguns,
fireworks, firecrackers, heavy machinery and loud vehicles. Spud has also
walked through lines of fire, smoke grenades and tear gas.
This past September, Spud participated in the North West Mounted
Police Clinic in Prineville, Oregon. While many of the
horses from other Police Departments were out of control and bumping into
him, the horse held his ground and proved to the VPD that he would be a keeper
and earned his own badge number as an official member.
Spud's name was changed to 'Bud the third' in honour of the two previous Standardbreds
that happened to be police horses before him that had the same name.
Kym and Kristen are very proud of the horse's accomplishments, yet both insist that "He will always be Spud to us!"
- Felicia Allen