New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ambassadors

It occurred to me on Sunday evening that the mounted police horse stables would make a great photo subject. The horse stables are very few, little known and rarely visited. However in a post 9/11 world, regardless of how benign a person's intentions might be and how unlikely a target for terrorism a place is, it is always reasonable to expect a "no photography" reception. So I went out into the foggy, drizzly night hoping for the best but expecting the worse. I was quite happy to find the stable entrance open to the street and immediately began taking photos - a preemptive strike is the best policy when in doubt about photo policies. The horses could be seen in their stables in the dim lighting with a large American flag hanging from aloft - see more photos here.
The real surprise was when the stable keeper, upon seeing my interest, immediately waved me and my companion in. We learned that our gracious host, Daniel Allen, hailed from Panama, and has been working with horses since he was a child. He was a race horse jockey in Panama (having won three races) and has worked various race tracks such as New York City's Aqueduct.
Sixteen horses are stabled here in quarters that abut the First Police precinct at 16 Ericsson Place at Varick Street in lower Manhattan . To visit a place like this is decidedly an earthy experience - surrounded by hay, wood chips, and mice skittering about. And of course the horses - an animal which is extremely sensitive but whose size always commands immediate respect.
There are stables in 4 of New York City's boroughs: Coney Island in Brooklyn, Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, Fresh Meadows in Queens and a new facility at Pier 76 on Manhattan’s West Side. All total there are 112 mounted police officers with approximately 80 horses. You can learn more about them and their training here.
Many nonresidents of the city are surprised at the use of mounted police in an urban environment like New York City. However, a mounted officer has unique abilities. Police commissioner Raymond Kelly says: “Their impressive visibility make our mounted police officers and their horses great crime fighters and outstanding ambassadors to the public.”

Related Posting: Horse Sense.

5 comments:

LuckLys said...

so cool...i definitely want to visit the beautiful horses who call new york city home. thanks for the information, the picture is just as enlightening as the words.

Wayne said...

Great idea Brian.

Jarart said...

So glad you were allowed to photograph the stable there. I have always been curious about where the horses are kept.

Brian Dubé said...

Horse stables are one of those things you know exist but never see. And when you find these places their unexpectedness just makes it all the more interesting.

Lily Hydrangea said...

what a great post! I love how you've captured this horses portrait. & I love seeing the mounted police in the city, the police always let us pet the horses too, which is nice.