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Horse-Drawn Carriage Accident

After Throwing Rider, Police Horse Returns Home Alone 

NY Times - 5/3/08 
By AL BAKER

Aldo, a police horse on routine patrol in one of Manhattan's busiest sections, may have lost his cool on Friday afternoon - but he didn't lose his sense of direction. About 2 p.m. at Prince Street and the Avenue of the Americas, Aldo bucked at the sound of a backfiring motorcycle and threw his rider, a veteran police officer. The officer landed on his shoulder and neck, as Aldo took off.

The reports of "officer down" sent officers of the Emergency Service Unit racing to the scene. Once the rider was determined not to be seriously injured, attention turned to the missing Aldo. But the officers need not have worried. Within about five minutes, the horse made it back to the stable, where he was being looked at by department veterinarians, said Officer Martin Brown, a Police Department spokesman, who said Aldo suffered only a few minor cuts. The riderless Aldo had gone south, then a bit west, a journey of about eight blocks, to arrive at his base, the stable alongside the First Precinct station house at 19 Varick Street.

The mounted officer, who was not immediately identified, was taken to St. Vincent's Medical Center, where he was treated for minor injuries to his shoulder and neck, Officer Brown said. He has been on the job for 21 years, the last six of which were served in the Mounted Unit. Aldo is 8 years old and has been on the job about a year. He came to the Varick stable in December after training at the Police Academy's stable in the Bronx. The police said that one 911 caller reported a riderless horse heading south against traffic on the Avenue of the Americas near Spring Street. Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman, said, "You know, Aldo knows his turf."   

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