Monday, March 06, 2006

Rest in Peace Brig

I put this blog together to celebrate the life of Brigadier, the brave Toronto Police horse who gave his life while on duty. So many people have asked to see more photos of him, I'm hoping these pics will help illustrate what a loss this is to our city and our hearts.

52 Comments:

Blogger HezMcB said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures. We are all in mourning for a beautiful horse so brutally taken from those who loved and worked with him. For his partner, for those who knew him, for those officers who had to release him from his pain our deepest and sincerest sympathies.

We know just how deeply these noble and selfless creatures touch the hearts of those who live with them, work with them, who have the honour of being allowed on their backs.

9:57 am  
Blogger AnnN said...

Those are some of the most beautiful pictures I have seen of this pure and noble beast. My heart breaks for his partner, and all of the people that this gentle giant made an impact on.

I can only imagine the blanket of sorrow that has been placed upon the Toronto Metro Police station, at the loss of such a wonderful animal, who put his life in danger everyday to protect others, showing what a GREAT police officer he was.

Rest easy boy, may your journey be forever peaceful on the Rainbow Bridge.

My deepest and heartfelt sympathies to those of you who knew Brigadier. May you all find comfort in knowing how many strangers are mourning along with you.

Ann Northrup
Sussex, New Brunswick

11:06 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks Anne for your site. All of us at the Mounted Unit are grateful(sp?) for your support. And Dorothy's as well. I hope she is ok. And I hope you are too.

Your tribute to Brig is incredible and very touching. We really appreciate it. You will never know how much you have done for our unit.
Giant Hug for you, Ric, and Dorothy

5:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful animal - such a tragic loss. Gallop peacefully in heaven, Brigadier.

5:57 pm  
Blogger Anne said...

I feel so shattered by emotion that it's hard for me to imagine what the people who worked with Brig every day must be feeling. A thousand, thousand times worse. I'm glad that it's some small comfort to have these photos of him. We can remember him as he really was. Not shattered in the road. It's the very least I could do.

6:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They say the eyes are an expression of the soul.

What a soul, and what a tragic waste.

Look into those soulful eyes and weep.

6:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tears just keep coming when I think of this tragic and senseless loss of a beautiful, and gentle member of the Toronto Police Force.

Look down from heaven Brig,and gallop freely and in peace...and know how very much you are loved, and how much you will be missed.

To all the police men and women who worked so closely with Brigadier, and with special thoughts to Constables Gilbert and Bradfield, we hope your hearts will mend.

7:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a shame, I can't believe that someone would actually do that to an animal out of rage. It sickens me that someone would actually do this to a horse that serves our city and technically our country.
RIP Brig.
I hope the person responsable gets punished to the fullest extent of the law.

9:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP Brigadier

9:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an awful, useless waste of life, an innocent, beautiful animal. My sympathies are with the Mounted Unit of the Toronto Police and all who knew or rode; there are no words that can truly express how I feel about your loss; I feel just sick about it.
I hope that justice is done for both the officer and Brigadier and that the accused is prosecuted to the fully extent of the law.

May he gallop in a pasture that is ever green.

9:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having lost two horses of my own, and seen countless other put out of their pain infront of me I can empathize with what the Officers and people present at the scene felt. My condolances to all Officers who knew and loved Brigadier, and anyone who loves horses can understand what that love is.

Have a good one, Brigadier!

11:17 pm  
Blogger Ian russell said...

a fine tribute to a magnificent horse, anne. I showed the missus you're photos last night and we were both saddened by this tragedy.

great pictures; you really show him to be a special horse, an immense loss to all who knew him. nice thoughts and poems.

7:14 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jingles for Brigadier!!!

11:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How very very sad. I hope whoever caused this will be prosecuted to the full extend of the law and than some!
R.I.P. Brig!

11:48 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry on the loss of a fellow officer. Brig was a handsome guy. I am sure Brig is at rainbow bridge awaiting the day he and his partner will once again be united. Brig is free from pain and suffering and is now filled with a renewed life of peace. He will romp and play and gallop with those who went on before him. I made a tribute for brig in my web chat group. Please feel free to look. I do hope that was ok to do. To the other officer, prayers for you and a speedy recovery. And may you be able to charge the "person" with the murder of a fellow officer and attempted murder of another.

12:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Memento to such a beautiful Horse member of the Toronto Police. I cried so much for the poor thing and I have never met, being from Ottawa. However, I know this will help bring closure for the wonderful creature and I hope they throw the book at the man who did such an unspeakable thing and now tries to plead sickness and mental problems. God bless you all and thanks for sharing these pictures and comments.

1:06 pm  
Blogger Pondo said...

It is with great sadness that I learned of the tragic and senseless death of Brigadier. I worked with horses for years and have had the pleasure of riding retired police horses before. They are the best of the best and very easy to ride. Strong, sturdy and proud would be an understatement. My condolances to all who knew this beautiful animal. May the grass always be sweet and the oats plentiful for you Brigadier.

2:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for creating such a fantastic site to commemorate a beautiful horse & companion (and officer) to the Toronto police.

We all share your grief.

Karren
(Ottawa)

4:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im sorry about Brigadier im from the states this is so sad.. Josie
Iowa, USA

8:38 pm  
Blogger shadowfax said...

It is time to be brave. This is not easy or comfortable. You need to draw on your courage and face it head-on.
We all have bravery within us.
Brig's bravery laid in being willing to press through the fear, knowing that it is the only way.
R.I.P.
Hail Brigadier!

10:07 pm  
Blogger faye@specialmoments said...

I sit here with tears in my eyes and heavy heart, for the cruel and unnecessary loss of such a magnificent and gentle giant.
I feel so deeply for all of those who have worked with and loved Brigadier so.
Anne, thank you for sharing these wonderful photos, that allows us to capture just a little of his essence.
My sincerest sympathies to all who were fortunate enough to have known Brigadier and are mourning this horrific loss.
Rest in Peace Brigadier - Faye

10:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankyou for giving this wonderful loyal officer of the law his right of passage.

He is as an officer of the law taking stabbings, assaults and attrocities in stride.

Know that this story is reaching horse people all over the world and is touching their hearts and souls

blessing to you brig and safe journey noble one

Liesl
Australia

4:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankyou for this wonderful site, Anne. Losing an animal for any reason is always heartbreaking, but to know this was the result of a cruel and intentional act makes it so much worse.

Your pictures have brought much comfort to myself and my fellow communications operators as we were all working the night of this horrific tragedy. It is wonderful to see Brig how he was, and to now picture him running free with those that have crossed the bridge before him.

10:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We here were so sad and angry that this has happened, what a beautiful horse and what a tragic end to a brilliant career. His rider and the whole force must be feeling totally at a loss to understand what and why this has happened. Please pass on our condolences to the rider and to the police force as a whole and we sincerely hope the person who did this mindless act will be brought to justice and the full penalty the law can apply to him will be applied.

3:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every time I look at these photos, my heart breaks a little more. What a waste of a life, what an act of senseless violence towards an animal who only ever wanted to do his job as best he could and be rewarded with a warm place to sleep and some sweet smelling hay. What is this world coming to?

3:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tears just keep coming when I see you on TV. How can anyone be so cruel to such a beautiful, defenceless animal? To those who had to put him down, my heartfelt thoughts to you and to Brigadier's partner, may God give you strength.
Rest in Peace Brigadier,you will never be forgotten.

3:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I offer my condoloences, and I want to express my deep sadness at such a beautiful animal being snuffed out in his prime. it is true that you have a bond with a horse that goes deeper than anything else, and is beyond mere love, it is a primeval thing that has it's roots in the swamps of Mother Earth. Since time began, and humans domesticated these noble animals, they have given us everything, that includes their lives, and we honour them for it.

6:38 am  
Blogger Biz X Magazine said...

We had a chance to meet Brig at the Michigan State Fair in Detroit this past summer where he was competing with other mounted units from all over North America.
We were doing an article for our magazine. We here are deeply sadened by this horrible needless tragedy. I will try to forward pictures i took.
What is this world coming to?
Deborah and Jack
Biz X Magazine
Windsor

11:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sad. I guess the only good thing that will come out of this horrible event is that people will appreciate the mounted unit a bit more and realise that what they do is not just ceremonial but in actual fact they put their lives on the line every time they go out the stable door. If the person who did this just gets a slap on the wrist, there is going to be an added fear that now it's open season on the very vulnerable and visible mounted police officers. If there's not a deterrent for a crime like this, what's to stop it happening again?

11:55 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mounted unit should be commended for their professionalism in what must be one of the hardest weeks in their memory. In the media glare and with such grief in their hearts they've carried on and done their jobs and our city should be proud of them.

12:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no greater spiritual journey than one taken on horseback.

7:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of this beautiful animal. The incident took place not too far from my home, and I am reluctant to even pass by that area now for fear of the memories it will bring. I have sent the Memorial Fund link to over 80 people in my address book, and have gotten positive reposnses from almost everyone. Brigadier was truly a majestic creature that I had the pleasure of seeing many times in my tenure in downtown Toronto, and although I didn't know him as well as his riders and handlers, I know I will feel his loss for a very long time. Gallop freely Brigadier. Your peace has come.

9:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful memorial - thank you Anne for sharing.

We all mourn the loss of Brigadier, but my heart breaks for the officers who knew him so well, who considered him a fellow officer and a friend. Usually when a fellow officer is injured, they would hope for a speedy recovery... in this tragic case, they must stand by as their fellow officer must be euthanized to put him out of his misery... all caused by such a senseless act.

However, there is hope.

The outpouring of emotion over this tragic loss proves their is compassion and that so many people care. Brigadier did not die in vain. He has brought us all together to mourn him, to feel sadness, to reminisce, to pay tribute to how wonderful he was.

11:57 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So very sad. The maniac who did this needs to be locked up for a long, long, long time. What a horrible loss for the unit, I cannot even begin to imagine what they have been going thru.

1:39 pm  
Blogger perfectoinsecto said...

very very sorry for your loss. poor poor brig!

12:50 am  
Blogger Painted Brumby said...

This poem is what helped me through the loss of my 5 month old foal, Brumby, who died in a tombstone style hayfeeder. (his baby brother, Sonny, stayed by him until the very end).

Do not weep, for I am not gone
I am still with you, in Spirit and love
~*~
Just look towards the sky.
behold... what you see
I live on in your heart
And forever will be.
~*~
I am of the wind, the storm in the sky,
I am the clouds that so slowly float by.
I am the gold rays , the warmth of sun,
I am the rain, and rainbows end.

Do not Weep, For I feel no pain
I now run free, One With the Wind
I lay and I sleep, I bask in the Sun.

I romp in Lush Meadows
Drink from Sparkling Blue Streams
graze in tall grasses that dance in the breeze.

Do Not Weep,
For I am not gone
I am still with you
In Spirit and Love

Copyright ~2002 D.Enise

9:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow he must have been a great horse and im sure he was i love horses alot to. I would have loved to meet him. After what i've herd he must have been a greatloss to alot of people.I didn't even know him but i was enraged to here that someone would do such a thing. well, somtimes life can be hard i guess. R.I.P brigadier.

10:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from southern West Virginia and was so touched and saddened by the loss of this great horse. I had a belgian cross, named Mo, who looked like Brigadier, and I loved him very much. They are amazing animals. I wish Constable Bradfield a speedy recovery and also the whole department a recovery from the emotional loss, as well. Please make sure to prosecute the person responsible to the max. My prayers are with you all.

3:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP Brigadier, I was so saddened to see the news release on television that such a tragic thing like this happened. My prayers to the Toronto Police Service and especillay to Brigadier's partner. God Bless you.

12:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It always makes my day when a police mount passes by. I had the pleasure of meeting Brigadier myself. I've known horses all my life, and he is the ONLY horse that ever was able to surprise me as he rounded the corner. He's a big boy, and he can be much, MUCH quieter on his feet that you might expect. I think he enjoyed the surprise, too. I jumped, but he was just looking at me. Horses do laugh, you know, especially at us.

Maybe you don't know horses, reader, and maybe you do, but the point here is that this was a member of the force. He died in your service. If your life or your property were aided and preserved by a four footed officer, would that make your life or property worth any less?

To your riders...
I am sorry for your loss, I know it myself.

Be at peace, Brigadier. Thank-you for the years of service. You're off the concrete now.

2:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How awful. No doubt you will hear from other "Droolers" as we call ourselves. We are Basset Hound owners who belong to a listserv and your site was sent out today so that we could share our feelings of sorrow with you. Basset Hound owners say they are having their hounds "sling drool" to help the healing process. I and my hounds will be sending extra drool along for Brig and his partner and all those who knew and loved Brig. He will be with you in your memories always and until you meet again at the Rainbow Bridge. He is there now, running and prancing, forever free and healthy again. Please accept my sincerest sympathies.

4:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was down at the Memorial Service today. It was beautiful. I cried to see his halter and bridle. I felt so sorry for Constable Hadfield. Thank you for your site.
Please let us know if there will be a book in the near future commemorating Brigadier.

Mary

6:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the beautiful photos, memories, bits & bobs you have assembled here. A truly lovely tribute.

I was a delight to chat with you today.

9:22 pm  
Blogger saddlewood7 said...

Hi I just wanted to say thanks Anna for putting this site up and sharing the pics.I wanted to send the Mounted Police an email but I don't know the addy would you be able to send it or post it here?

saddlewood7@yahoo.ca

11:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the night of Brigadier's brutal murder, I was nearby, but not capable or close enough to do anything. Last week I watched and read this blog every night, but was not able to write anything meaningful. Yesterday at the memorial I was barely able to watch the screen, flashing images and memories of Brig in better days. And today, I write, but am unable to write anything meaningful.

If this is the sorrow, pain and sadness that one feels, who isn't even directly involved in this tragedy, I cannot even begin to imagine or understand the pain and sorrow that Brigs' partners must have felt yesterday, today, and will feel for many tomorrows.

My deepest, most heartfelt condolences to Brig's partners during this most difficult time.

Sincerely,

Dan Sandor
43 Division CPLC Member

11:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was great eloquence at the service yesterday, but perhaps the most moving tributes were the horseless saddle and these images. They were almost too much to be borne, and I am neither an officer nor a horseman. Just another citizen touched by this tragedy, and proud of our Toronto officers and their noble mounts. Brig, if there's a horse-heaven, may you be "walking spellbound, out of the whinnying green stable, onto the fields of praise" (Dylan Thomas; "Fern Hill").

1:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The full stanza is:

"And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder, it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden;
The sky gathered again,
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light,
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stables
Onto the fields of praise."

6:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful horse and brave equine police officer. Whenever I think of what happened, my heart breaks. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the officers who loved him best. What a heavy heart they must still have. God bless you, Brig and give you rest.

6:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless

9:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A beautiful site in tribute to a beautiful horse. As a horse owner and one who recently experienced the loss of an equine partner, my heart goes out to the entire Toronto Metro Police and especially those who were partnered with Brigadier. Only those who have experienced a true equine partnership will truly understand the magnitude of the loss.

My wish is that the person who committed such and intentional act be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Too bad we couldn't set him up and drive a minivan into his legs.

Rest well Brigadier. Job well done!

2:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brigadier was a beautiful and apparently very kind and loyal creature. Nothing that is done to punish his murderer could ever be sufficient. However we need to bear in mind that as long as innocent animals (horses and dogs) are sent in where humans fear to go or go alone, there will be people killing them.

6:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am simply so full of anger that I can't think of anything intelligent to say. Such a sad ending the life of a noble creature. His picture now adorns my office wall, and while I did not know Brig in is life on earth, I will look at his noble presence each morning.

1:54 pm  

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