A living reminder of the service and sacrifice of the First World War was presented by the Mounted Unit at the end of the Remembrance ceremony at Toronto Police Headquarters on Nov. 9.
Police horse Bunny, named in honour of the only police horse to survive the First World War, was introduced after the ceremony marking 100 years since the WWI Armistice to Service and members of the Toronto Military Veterans Association, who hosted the ceremony.
The horse’s forelock was cut and presented to Chief Mark Saunders to signify the end of his training and deployment into service.
Mounted Unit Staff Sergeant Graham Queen said Bunny is a tribute to the ultimate sacrifice of Canadian soldiers in the Great War as well as the horses they used in combat.
“Bunny was renamed after the only horse in first World War that survived from Toronto. There was 18 horses that were sent,” said Queen, of the horses that were sent to serve the 9th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery to move supplies and weapons to the front lines.
Bunny was never returned to Toronto despite the intervention of the Mayor and Police Chief. The horse was used on a farm in Belgium after the war.
“Bunny is graduating from being a remount horse to a fully functioning patrol horse,” said Queen of the horse that carries the Royal Canadian Artillery logo on his saddle blanket.
Police horse Vimy, also accompanied Bunny in the presentation. Vimy is named for the WWI Battle of Vimy Ridge, where the four Canadian divisions fought together as a unified fighting force for the first time.