This New Orleans Patrol Horse Joins In On Mardi Gras, Cuts Serious Rug
New Orleans, Louisiana — a place known for its vibrant culture, delicious food, sweet jazz and of course, Mardi Gras. Did you also know they have a dancing horse named Ace? He helps to keep the people of New Orleans safe and sound while they enjoy this fun and unique town.
Who is Ace?
A thoroughbred police horse for 11 years, 15-year-old Ace and his rider Officer Jones patrol the narrow streets of New Orleans year-round. During the Mardi Gras celebration, Ace has been known to join in on the party in the streets.
Weighing in at 1,575 pounds, Ace wowed the crowds after he started dancing to a band playing music on Bourbon Street with his partner as gracefully as Fred glided across the dance floor with Ginger.
Not Just Any Horse
In the video, Ace is shown really cutting a rug! He mimicks the moves of the [human] dancers and even pulls off some unique fancy footwork of his own! How many people can say the same?
It’s not easy for mounted patrols to navigate New Orleans on a regular day, much less during Mardi Gras when crowds flood the street elbow-to-elbow. Ace and other patrol horses like him go through a tough training to ready them for the crowds and any surprises that would spook a regular horse.
All 25 active horses not only receive this special training, but they also wear special shoes called “horsie nikes.” No, really! Horsie nikes help protect the horse’s feet from the street by acting as shock absorbers and are designed to prevent them from slipping on the litter festival-goers leave behind.
The horses were originally bred for mounted patrols at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola to deal with crowd confusion and disarray. Last year, the NOPD bought two pregnant mares and started their own herd.
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