Updated: 01/31/2014 8:45 PM
Created: 01/31/2014 4:58 PM KSTP.com
By: Tom Durian
A veteran of the St. Paul Police force retired Friday. For 14 years, Blackjack was on the St. Paul Mounted Police Force.
Blackjack's owners, the Grannis family of Inver Grove Heights donated him in 1999 to the force. His handlers say he was a perfect horse for this duty. Gentle with people, but tough when he needed to be.
"He's a horse that when crowds were heavy and we needed to move people. He would move right in to the crowds, when he was busy he was a worker," Gerry Johnson with the St. Paul mounted unit said.
Blackjack will now retire to Inver Grove Heights and be ridden occasionally, according to his owner. Rascal, a 10 year old replacement for Blackjack, was given his saddle Friday in a Changing of the Mount ceremony. He will begin training immediately.
The St. Paul Police have six horses and officers in their unit, but they are one of many departments with a mounted Patrol.
Minneapolis Police Department and Hennepin County Sheriff's among others, have horse patrols.