Local mounted patrol horse dies unexpectedly


UNION COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46) — A former police officer in Union County is now mourning the loss of his mounted patrol horse who played a big role in his day to day life for a decade.

“You end up developing such a bond with these animals. I mean we were a team,” said Officer Louie Rodriguez.

For the first time in nearly 10 years, Officer Rodriguez is without his partner, Miracle.

“Right now, I only got one little guy to ride, to heal. We will be riding soon,” said Officer Rodriguez.

He is heart broken because Miracle wasn’t your average horse. He was a former member of the mounted patrol team for the Orlando Police Department. Most recently, he retired to rural Union County where he made appearances at community events for the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

“This was his best buddy, BJ, for Bonnies Joy, former owner, but he is a sweetheart and he and miracle used to play all the time. You can tell he is mopey since the other one was lost,” said Officer Rodriguez.

It was an unexpected loss in late October after Miracle became sick and never recovered. He’s now buried on his favorite spot behind the barn.

“He would just brush himself against those trees where they are all dead now, that was his habit,” said Officer Rodriguez.

Miracle was simply enjoying his retired life. During his years of service he helped make hundreds of arrests in Florida and equally as many community appearances across North Carolina.

He even filled a void for Officer Rodriguez after a tragic accident killed his first four legged partner, Cheyenne.

“It turns out that a street light had been disconnected and not capped, so at night the wires came on, the horseshoes made a good conductor and he got electrocuted,” said Rodriguez.

Cheyenne saved Officer Rodriguez’s life, which is how Miracle got his name.

“Just like you would love your child to a certain extent, you have to love these animals,” said Rodriguez.

Memories of that loving bond with miracle, still surround the barn.

“The other day I was just reaching into my truck to get something out, you see his paperwork that I need to travel with. It’s not like you can go out and get another horse and it’s the same,” explained Rodriguez.

Officer Rodriguez’s barn may never be the same, but the memories with his partner miracle, will live on forever.

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