Monday, March 20, 2006

From Brig's photoshoot, a few days before he was killed.
It was only today that I sat down and opened the folder with all of his photos from that night. I had just grabbed the one "portrait" of him and never went back to it. I'll post a few more in the next little while. 

Someone sent me this piece:

Death of a horse shattering

Mar 6, 2006

A couple of years ago, when my younger brother Tim was training to be a part of the Metro Police Mounted Unit, I had an opportunity to go down to the stables and visit. It was quite wonderful. Wonderful to be around so many magnificent creatures and wonderful to see the change in my brother, to see him falling in love with horses.

I watched him grooming them and talking to them, stroking their velvety muzzles and affectionately patting their massive flanks and necks. I realized then how good this was for Tim. How good it would be for anyone. Animals, especially domesticated creatures, are precious gifts to humans. If we allow ourselves to be touched by them and connect with them, they reward us with life-changing riches.

My brother was then and is still a member of the ETF. The elite emergency task force. He is a sergeant and has the safety and care of many people as his responsibility. He daily faces situations and crises that I can barely write about from the safety of my home. So, it was with great joy that I watched him interacting with these gentle giants, saw the stress falling off of him, saw some of the armor dropping away. I know that, even though he has yet to officially join the mounted unit, but has stayed with the ETF where he is currently needed, the bond he created with those horses has never left him. He very often drops in to see them, to ride them, to talk to them, to re-connect.

And so it was that I felt my breath being coldly sucked away this past Saturday as I opened the paper to see the photo of several desperate officers draped over the body of a maimed and dying police horse, deliberately struck by a hit-and-run vehicle. The heartbreaking beauty of that photo has remained with me. It is the essence of love and nobility and sacrifice. Something told me to call Tim then and when he couldn't come to the phone I knew that what was just a terribly sad news story to me was a black hole for him.

The universe moves mountains sometimes to teach us hard lessons. That night, it had seen to it that Tim had been on duty and was called to the scene where his beloved Brigadier, his favourite, lay torn and bleeding on a cold, wet road.

He told me later, that as he approached the scene he only needed to see that golden tail to know who it was. He told me through a voice taut with emotion about the tears in the eyes of the other mounted officers there, of the gentleness and the tenderness with which they pled with Brigadier to lie still and of the horse's agonizing efforts to raise his once magnificent body to its feet.

And as the precious minutes passed and frantic radio calls were unable to bring a vet and any kind of relief, the universe pointed its unwavering finger and laid its enormous burden upon the weary shoulders of my brother and those other officers there who loved this animal so deeply. The call was made. The shotgun was loaded and my brother, my hero, stroked his friends muzzle and whispered to him one last time.

--- Neil Crone

Copyright © Metroland, Durham Region Media Group. - All rights reserved.

Death of a horse shattering - Mar 6, 2006

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless you Brig!

You have not died in vain son as there will be a 'Brigadier's Law' to protect all police officers.

Thank you Anne for this site. And thank you for allowing us this glimpse into this remarkable soul's life.

The Turnbull Family

2:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




2:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you once again Anne for this. Your photos speak volumes. I find myself visiting often(as I always have to your other blog...)
I found this op/ed piece about that fateful night. Be prepared to weep, but it makes you want to fight for "Brigidier's Law' all the more.
And fight we will.......

9:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This literally brings tears to my eyes. It reminds me of the death of my own horse, his head lying in my lap. I've emailed and sent these links to everyone and I still have so much anger left that I don't know what to do with. I guess I'll go home and hug my horses.

5:20 pm  
Blogger Cat said...

The combination of the beautiful photo and heart wrenching words were more than I could take. It is truly a gift how some are able to so elequently state the depth of their feelings.Dear Brig,if not for this horrific tragedy I would never have met you. Now I will never forget you. My sincere condolences to those who had the good fortune of sharing their lives with you.
Thankyou Anne for your site which is a lovely tribute to a stunning example of one of God's most brilliant creations. The horse.

3:23 am  
Blogger Eddy said...

I'm just now reading about this beautiful Police mount, Brigadier. I'm a mounted police officer in New York State. I'm crying my eyes out looking at this site. I would be beside myself if my partner, my beautiful, brave Percheron, "Chipper Brown", was murdered. My horse is everything to me. All of our horses mean the world to us. They always do what is asked of them to keep the public order, to ensure safety for all- especially the ground cops and us, their riders. It is an unexplainable joy to be able to go to work every day and walk into the stable and spend time with these incredible horses that work so hard for us.
My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to you. I'm going to post a photo of Brig in our HQ. You will always be in my heart and mind.
God Bless, PO E.De

8:14 pm  

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