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Minneapolis' oldest police horse retiring after 13 years on job

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After 13 years of trotting around with the Minneapolis Police Mounted Patrol, Ollie the police horse is calling it quits, WCCO reports.

Ollie is retiring this week at age 19. He's been in the midst of everything from violent protests to peaceful summer parades, and even helped out at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in 2008.

Kelly Kasel, a police officer who's worked with Ollie as a partner since she began the mounted patrol in 2001, says Ollie "deserves his retirement."

“He’s the anchor on the unit and the other horses look up to him because he’s always calm – he doesn’t get fired up over pretty much anything,” Kasel told the station.

The Minneapolis Police Mounted Patrol says there are currently eight horses in the unit, which help with crowd and crime control, search and rescue, and community policing. The horses are purchased through public donations.

While Kasel is sad about Ollie's retirement, she's happy he's going to a good home on a Stearns County ranch.

WCCO says Ollie will still be ridden in a some parades because the ranch is owned by a couple of mounted patrol riders with the county.

The department is planning a retirement ceremony Friday at the police stable. Sgt. Molly Fisher, who is in charge of the mounted police unit, says saying goodbye is always tough because there's "a connection through all that training and doing police work with that horse that comes over those years."

Ollie should get a good amount of retirement time in. According to experts, horses with good care live an average of 25 to 33 years, if not longer. When Ollie hits 20, he'll be about 60 in human years, according to About.com.

People can keep up to date on past and present Minneapolis police horses on the organization's Facebook page.

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