Friends of the Mounted Patrol donates Zeep and Junior, who replace two retired horses

Earlier this week, the New Castle County's Mounted Patrol received a donation to replace two retiring horses.

The two new blonde Clydesdales, brothers Zeep and Junior, will replace the recently retired Buddy and Commander.

Zeep and Junior were raised in a private farm in eastern Missouri. Five-year-old Zeep and his half-brother, four-year-old Junior, both have a couple of months of training before they join the ranks of the other mounts on patrol, according to a press release from county police.

ABOUT THE MPU

The county's Mounted Patrol Unit was formed in 1981 with a grant from Community Development and Housing (CD&H) in order to have a police presence in some of the communities funded by CD&H, according to their website.

The unit patrols communities and county parks, targeting those communities in need of special patrols. It also provides security details and represents the police department at special events.

Housed at Carousel Park in Pike Creek, the Mounted Patrol is staffed by six full-time officers, four auxiliary riders, and 11 large draft horses. Training is extensive, and the unit is highly competitive, participating regularly in national competitions.

The Clydesdales are "gentle giants" noted for their intelligence and excellent temperament - good qualities for a police horse.

ABOUT 'FRIENDS'

Formed in 2009, the Friends of the Mounted Patrol is a group of private citizens who work on a volunteer basis to support the Mounted Patrol Unit.

Created to help support the MPU following budget cuts almost 10 years ago, the organization has to date raised $46,000 for the MPU, to assist with the physical care of the horses as well as work aggressively on fundraising endeavors, according to their website.