The Toronto Police Service’s newest equine member is named after the biennial sporting competition that showcases soldiers and veterans’ indefatigable drive to overcome obstacles.
Invictus was unveiled on September 29 during the third Games being held in Toronto.
The six-year-old Clydesdale was purchased from a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer who has a farm in Edmonton.
“To have a horse named after these Games was not in our plans,” said Games’ Chief Executive Officer Michael Burns. “This horse roaming the streets of Toronto will be a great reminder to all of us about how significant and important these Games are to the city of Toronto and the country.”
Chief Mark Saunders was on hand to welcome the new recruit to the fold.
“To become a member is not easy,” he said. “The horses have to be special and highly trained.”
Staff Sergeant Graham Queen, the officer in charge of the Mounted Unit, said the name emerged after a meeting with Superintendent Bill Neadles last week.
“We were looking for a name and we thought Invictus would be appropriate,” he said. “We also decided to put the Invictus logo on the horse’s ceremonial blanket.”
Training officer Jeff Dale was honoured to showcase Invictus at the unveiling ceremony at Fort York.
“This is the least we can do for our veterans,” said the officer, who is in charge of training the Service’s new horses. “It’s an honour to for us to do this.”
Invictus will undergo about four-to-six months training before working on the street.
Dale, who has been with the Service for 17 years, said Invictus has a calm demeanour and loves being around people.
“He is just a beautiful all-round horse,” he added.