For the past few months, this blog and most everyone at Equisearch.com has turned a sympathetic ear to our four-legged friends at a beautiful old stable in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. Tucked behind a hospital on the grounds of an old estate, a group of hard-working half-draft horses load up each day to patrol the city streets. Some days they catch a Red Sox game or a Boston Pops concert on the Charles River, and in the old days, they risked life and hoof at student protests and anti-busing riots. They always stood their ground.
The city of Boston has a heck of a way of thanking them for their 140 years of service.
This year’s city budget drew a thick red line through the horses’ hay and grain and other expenses, not to mention the officers’ and barn staff’s salaries. The oldest mounted police unit in the country will be shut down unless something is done in the next few days.
The city has been stunned by this news. The horses are icons that we are all used to seeing at events. The happiest and most solemn public moments in Boston history, we have shared with these horses. Patriot and Rex Sox and Celtic and Bruin games, playoffs and championship celebrations require horse patrols. So do state funerals, the Boston Marathon, the Pope’s Mass on the Common, and the Fourth of July fireworks.
So great efforts have been made to hold hearings, start a non-profit support group, raise some money, and petition the police commissioner and mayor to re-consider. Find the money somewhere else.
But in the meantime, the horses have been officially or unofficially been for sale everywhere but on eBay, and I shouldn’t say that because I haven’t checked and they may well be there.
These fine, highly trained horses would be an asset to any city. So today, there I was in the long Saturday morning line in the grocery store and my eye fell on the front page of the newspaper.
Click here to read about the latest spat between Boston and New York. NYPD would like to buy some of the horses, though it appears some New Yawker made a comment that some of the Boston horses were undernourished. (If you could see these horses, you’d know that’s a joke.)
The comment did not sit well and it made Front Page News here in Boston.
How dare they insult our horses at a time like this?
Boston is still not sure it wants to sell the horses or end the tradition. A last ditch City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 2pm at City Hall City Council Chambers on the 5th floor.
And do you want to know the very worst part of this whole story? If those horses go to New York, they’ll be working the Yankees games. Will Red Sox Nation let its horses go the way of Johnny Damon and Roger Clemens and (I dare not say his name) The Bambino Who Cursed Us (for 86 years, anyway)?
Stay tuned…and let’s hope not. If you can help, email me and I will forward your email or go to the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54704243322, which now has over 3000 members!
Read more from The Jurga Report‘s coverage on the Boston Police Horse crisis: