After rolling around in the dirt on a beautiful breezy Sunday morning I noticed my caretaker, Wendy Hale, walking to the fence with an unexpected guest. Intrigued, I took a few steps from my run-in shed to get a better look. She was bundled head to toe in a heavy jacket with a red baseball cap and a bright blue hood. This didn’t help me get anywhere with identifying the strange woman. But then I saw her face, and her big smile that raised her cheeks and made her eyes squint.
Memories from Mounted Patrol duties at Rutgers flooded my mind and I realized exactly who it was!
It was Jill Vereha-Blakely! We were old pals back when she was at the University and we would go on campus adventures together all the time. This was back in 1987, and you know what? Rutgers still employs Mounted Patrol Units! Actually, Rutgers is the only place with a student-run Mounted Unit in the nation, and they have been doing it for over thirty years!
For the past few years, the Rutgers Mounted Patrol Unit has become part of a large organization known as Community Service Officers (CSO’s). These students are uniformed, unarmed paid employees of the RUPD. Most of them are pursuing degrees in Public Safety or Public Service. What better way to gain experience for your career than to be with your best horse pals!
Those were the good ol’ days. If you have a great story about Mounted Patrol, or riding with me write a quick story in the comment box and remind me about it! Or, post a picture to our facebook page!