Sunday, August 08, 2010

Just to let everyone know, very exciting news, amazing sculptor Charles Buchanan is sculpting Brigadier. Hoping to be able raise funds so that we can have a life size bronze done and possibly find a home for it at Police Headquarters or Mounted Headquarters, not sure. It would be so amazing to have such a beautiful and permanent tribute to him.

Hello honourable people,

As a sculptor, with a police background, my creations are of people and things equestrian, so I have taken it upon myself to sculpt/model a statuette of deceased Toronto Mounted Police horse, Brigadier. With permission I am using reference photographs by Toronto photographer Anne de Haas, who has been associated with the TMP unit for some years. Brigadier is being modelled in a classical pose, as photographically captured by Anne on the shore of Lake Ontario, the pose being similar to George F. Watts' colossal statue, 'Physical Energy' and Leonardo da Vinci's 'horse'.

I would like to keep you all updated on my progress as I ultimately believe that in his memory, the work should be cast in bronze for permanent display.

Yours sincerely

Charles Buchanan

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Laid to rest

A private ceremony today in Uxbridge, to lay the ashes of poor Brigadier to rest. Just the people who were there the night he was killed, gathered to say goodbye.

It's a beautiful spot in the hills of Durham County, called Thistledown Pet Memorial.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

a year later...

and the anger doesn't really die, does it? Nor the frustration with our legal system that keeps putting dangerous losers back on the street.

Anyway, a terrific Toronto writer, Ward McBurney has written a beautiful article on the Toronto Police Mounted Unit. Give it a read.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Shame on our "Justice" system and shame on the people of Toronto/Ontario/Canada who just sit back and let it all happen.

"Dirk Sankersingh quietly pled out on January 15, 2007, & received a 2-year "conditional sentence", i.e. house arrest. What a travesty. We should all be outraged."

But of course we won't be. Like the nice Canadian sheep we are, we'll just let it happen. Over and over.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Your "justice" system at "work"....what a joke.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Brigadier poster is printed and being sold at horseshows across Ontario. Proceeds to the Brigadier Memorial Fund. I saw it for the first time last week. It's also available online.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 05, 2006

I just thought you all should see this website set up by Greg Adams, an American whose heart was touched by Brig's story so much that he has spent the last few months working on a tribute for him. Loads of people donated their time to putting it all together and it really is beautiful.

It's best viewed in Internet Explorer. I don't think the text works in Netscape.
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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Photo by Paul (Dixie) Dean, the official photographer for Hoofbeat, the magazine for mounted units all over the world.  Posted by Picasa

I know a lot of people have been waiting for this particular bit of news. The poster being put out by the University of Guelph to raise funds for the Brigadier Memorial fund is now available online at their website. (click the photo to go there) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Photo taken at Brigadier's memorial service by Toronto photographer Pavlina Krumpochova.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

P.C. Kevin Bradfield accepted an "Animal Hero" medal that was awarded to Brigadier by the Humane Society of Canada. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Brig and a little friend Posted by Picasa
Today, Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby presented a motion to Toronto City Council, with over 1500 signatures, to have a vote after the budget on the matter of Brig's Law. She's askig for a meeting with Justice Minister Vic Toews.

Also arranging a meeting with Toronto Police Chief William Blair to encourage him to get endorsements from all the police chiefs in Ontario and across Canada.

The sad part is, almost all changes to the Canadian criminal code happen after tragedies. Let's make this tragic and heartbreaking event a step to a better justice system. Let's not let Brig's death be forgotten, and let's try to ensure that something like this cold-blooded crime never ever happens again.

Don't just be sad, be angry. Get in touch with your local politicians and tell them how you feel. This is the only way change happens.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

While signing petitions is very helpul, it is also CRUCIAL that people
also take a moment to write a letter to the only person that can
actually make a difference regarding our concerns about charges laid in
the death of Toronto Police Services horse, Brigadier. The matter
falls under the Criminal Code of Canada, within the jurisdiction of the
Department of Justice Canada, and a quick simple letter demanding better
protection for Law Enforcement Animals should be written to:

The Honourable Vic Toews
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H8

Phone: (613) 957-4222
TDD/TTY: (613) 992-4556
Fax: (613) 954-0811
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Friday, March 24, 2006

please sign the petition

Thursday, March 23, 2006

On March 29 Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby will put forth a motion to Toronto City Council that the City of Toronto Council officially urge the Government of Canada to amend the Criminal Code to make intentional harm of a law enforcement animal an indictable offense. It is crucial that you call your local city councillor TODAY as this motion requires 2/3rds support to be introduced. Please look up your city councillor by simply entering your address or finding their name at and call them right now and tell them to SUPPORT THIS MOTION on MARCH 29, 2006. If there was nothing much you thought you could do in this matter, this is it, this IS the one most important thing you can do right now, just by picking up the phone or writing an email to your city councillor, and it WILL make a world of difference. Please don't put it off, do it now.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Brigadier's Law

I just found out that someone has started a website called where you can sign an online petition to get the law changed.

Please, please, please go and get involved.
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Was down at the Mounted unit today and was touched by all the tributes and pieces of art that people have dropped off there. I didn't have time to take photos of all of them, but here are a few. Someone gave me this ceramic tile that they made. They made a larger one for the unit.

Please, if you see your work here, feel free to put your name in the comments so you get proper credit. Thanks.
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I'm afraid the front lobby at the unit is full of reflections so I didn't get a great shot of this one, but P.C. Kris McCarthy, who was there the night Brig was killed, did this painting of him. Sorry for the terrible reflections in the glass. Posted by Picasa

I'm afraid I don't know the names of all the artists who worked on different tributes to Brig. This one came from an elementary school teacher I believe. Posted by Picasa

A gentleman, an artist, who heard about Brig made this lovely wood 3D plaque for the unit.

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detail, layers of wood. Posted by Picasa

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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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Poster made by someone touched by Brigadier. Posted by Picasa
Written by one of the mounted cavalry officers who rode at Brig's memorial:
 Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 10, 2006

please, get angry.

I'm going to keep Brig's blog and Brig's memory alive by constantly updating you on what's happening about the fight to get the law changed in Canada to protect police officers who happen to be horses and dogs. 

Please, get angry. Get motivated. Call your local MP. Tell him how you feel. Let's have something positive come out of this tragedy. I know you can do it.

Get angry. In the words of the late Pierre Berton, regarding another battle I was involved in, (which was won) "Get mad as hell!"
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P.C. Vicki Montgomery on Brig. Posted by Picasa
March 10, 2006.

Lindsay Luby to Campaign for Tougher Laws to Protect Police Service Animals

Toronto City Hall - Gloria Lindsay Luby, Toronto City Councillor (Ward 4 - Etobicoke Centre) and former Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board today launched her campaign for tougher laws to protect police service animals. Despite the significant dangers they face, police service animals are not protected under the Criminal Code of Canada. Under the eyes of the law, they are seen just as any other animal.

�We need laws that will specifically defend horses and dogs that belong to our police service. These service animals are heros on four legs and need to be protected and acknowledged for their courage and hard work.�

Along with 1,500 grieving Torontonians, Lindsay Luby attended Brigadier�s memorial at Ricoh Coliseum on Monday to pay her respects to an animal who gave his life to public service and protection for this City. The driver who hit Brigadier was not charged for harming the horse. Many officers have expressed frustration with the lack of laws to protect their service animals.

Councillor Lindsay Luby will be kicking off her campaign by writing letters to Federal and Provincial officials. She will also be presenting a motion to Council that she hopes will receive unanimous support. The Councillor will appear today on AM640 the Beat with Ross MacLeod and Craig Bromell to gain public support for the campaign.

�Not everyone realizes the risks and dangers these animals face. Taxpayer dollars pay to train them to assist our officers in protecting the public. The least the animals can expect is for us is to protect them.�


For further information please call:
Jim Burnett, Councillor Lindsay Luby�s Office
March 9, 2006.

The Hon. Vic Toews,
Minister of Justice and Attorney General,
284 Wellington Street,
Ottawa, Ontario. K1A 0H8

Dear Minister Toews:

I write this letter as the City of Toronto continues to grieve the loss of one of its police heros, Brigadier. Although Brigadier was a police service horse, 1,500 Torontonians attended his memorial to pay their respects for his bravery and service to public safety.

Brigadier was killed recklessly and deliberately by a driver in a hit and run. Although the driver was charged, he was not charged with intentionally hitting the horse because there are no Criminal Code provisions against it. On that day Toronto not only lost an animal dedicated to protecting its citizens, but also lost the significant amount of time and resources it invested to train this animal. If you had attended Brigadier�s memorial, you would also realize that police officers and the general public held this animal in special regard.

There are many examples across Canada where police service animals are intentionally killed by criminals without any legal consequence. Sections 444 and 445 of the Code make no mention of police service animals as you can read in the attached.

I am asking the Government of Canada to update and strengthen the Criminal Code to include the protection of police service animals against intentional harm. These animals should be recognized for the dangers and risks they face to serve and protect the public.

There are many jurisdictions outside Canada that offer protection for police service animals. I have attached Ohio Revised Code Title XXIX - Crimes - Chapter 2921 Offenses against Justice and Public Administration for your information. Many other states have passed similar legislation.

Thank you, Minister, for your time and attention to this matter. This matter affects service animals at all orders of government. I have copied this letter to other government officials and ask for their assistance and support. The public is looking to you for leadership to bring the laws into the 21st Century.

Yours very truly,

Gloria Lindsay Luby,
Toronto City Councillor,
Etobicoke Centre - Ward 4.


cc. The Hon. Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The Hon. Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario
The Hon. Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
William Blair, Chief of Police, Toronto Police Services
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Thursday, March 09, 2006

There has been such an outpouring of love and concern and sympathy for poor Brig and it's heartening to the unit, I know, to reallise that so many people feel their pain. I found out today that the University of Guelph has started a memorial fund in Brigadier's name: You can click this link to read it for yourself.

Gifts made in memory of Brigadier will be directed toward The Brigadier Memorial Fund at the Ontario Veterinary College to support clinical care for horses at the Large Animal Clinic.

Thank you to everyone who sent messages for Brig. He won't be forgotten. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Down at the lake last summer, Brig would do anything asked of him. so many people have said.. "You're off the concrete now, Brig.."
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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.

Getting ready to ride out this morning, for the tribute to Brigadier. Posted by Picasa