Two equine members of Sheriff’s Office Mounted Patrol Unit have retired

Valor and Major worked many high-level events during their law enforcement careers

(From left) Robin Ruhnke, Deputy Ben Kern, Mounted Patrol Horse Valor, Deputy Mike Jackson, Deputy Karla Small, Mounted Patrol Horse Major, Deputy Stephen Brown and Dr. Ron White gather to mark the retirement of Valor and Major. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office retired two members of its Mounted Patrol Unit on Dec. 4, the office announced.

Valor, a 28-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred, was donated to the Sheriff’s Office 17 years ago from Texas, a news release notes. Through his career, Valor worked several major events in Sarasota and surrounding counties, including the Super Bowl, the Republican National Convention (RNC) and the Florida Classic, the release adds.

“He also deployed to Mississippi following the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina,” the release notes. “Valor was named 2017 Thoroughbred of the Year through The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P),” the release points out.

Major, a 19-year-old Hanoverian, also was received by the Sheriff’s Office through a donation — this one, from a local doctor following the passing of his wife, the release notes. Major, too, worked the RNC, the Florida Classic, and several high-profile events during his career. He is often recognized by the Mounted Patrol Unit for his high-level dressage skills, the release points out.
“Both horses have served the agency well and kept both their riders and the Sarasota County community safe,” the release says. “Valor and Major will live out their retirement with Dr. Ron White and Ms. Robin Ruhnke at the Sarasota Polo Club,” the release adds.