Standardbred Stories
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A former racehorse finds a new life and new hope

From auction to the Police force
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!

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
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