Abby, Mono County’s mustang police horse died Oct. 19, at age 22, of complications from Cushing’s syndrome
Her death was announced on Tuesday by the Mono County Sheriff’s Office. She had a 17-year career span as a mounted patrol horse with partner Lt. Phil West.
“Abby was an ambassador for and a true testament to the mentality of the wild horses,” West said. “She was a family companion, show and competition horse, in addition to her law enforcement duties. I can best describe Abby as resolute in action yet gentle in manner. Our family misses her greatly and would like to thank the Eastern Sierra communities for their support throughout the years that she served.”
Abby was a mustang, foaled in 1991, and gathered from the BLM Herd Management Area near Tonopah. Abby came to West in 1992 from Officer Rich Perkins of the Bishop Police Department. In the spring of 1994, after West, lost his first mustang police horse, Modoc, Abby went into training to become the replacement horse. Abby became a familiar face in the Eastern Sierra with the inter-agency Eastern Sierra Mounted Enforcement Unit, working details from Lone Pine to Bridgeport and gathered thousands of loving strokes from citizens and visitors in the course of her career.
She began with the Bishop Police Department (1994-2002) and then with the Mono County Sheriff’s Office (2002-2010). Abby accompanied West to the California Peace Officers Memorial from 2003-2010. She retired in 2006 and worked only a few details a year, as her replacement, Bigun (also a mustang) was taking a larger portion of her workload. Abby was fully retired in 2010 with Bigun taking over all of her law enforcement related duties.
In addition to working mounted patrol, Abby was featured on the BLM’s, “Wild Horse Trading Cards,” and on the Discovery Channel’s, “Animal Planet.” She was also a family companion and pet, involved with West’s children in various horse shows and high school rodeo events. Sometimes, these events would occur on the same day as mounted details where she would compete and then change demeanor for working the street later that same day.