Tuesday, August 11, 2009
NY - Sheriff Wins On-Line Bidding for Retired (Arthritic) Police Horse: Outbids Killbuyers by a Few Cents!
August 10, 2009
Rockland Sheriff James Kralik loves horses.
His devotion last week cost him $596 for an arthritic Percheron just retired
from his department's mounted unit.
Kralik won the bidding war for Dee, a 1,500-pound black horse whom the
sheriff says he's ridden for years in ceremonial events, training sessions
and for crowd control.
And the sheriff says his maximum would have been $700 for the 16-year-
old horse during the weeklong computerized bidding run by Auctions
The Rockland Purchasing Department put the horse out for bid.
Kralik wanted to make sure he put the horse out to pasture rather than
seeing the beast become dog food.
"There's always the potential meat-packing companies will bid," Kralik
said. "What else would people do with a horse gone lame with arthritis?" (Bloggers note; Alternative to slaughter: E-u-t-h-a-n-s-i-a)
The large Percheron usually lives 18 to 20 years, he said.
Dee will spend her last days on Kralik's Gettysburg property in Pennsylvania,
with three other retired horses and 30 working horses. Kralik is a certified
guide for the Civil War battlefield.
"I wanted the horse because it is a decent, wonderful animal," Kralik said.
"I loved riding her. The horse deserves a good home and that's what she'll
now get with me."
The Mounted Unit took the horse off patrol because she had recently fallen
twice and the officers got scared, Kralik said.
The Mounted Unit patrols high-crime and crowded areas, spending this
summer in Nyack, Spring Valley and Haverstraw. The 10-foot-high cops
on horseback also patrol during parades, festivals and other events as a
The 32-year-old unit has five full-time officers and seven horses. The
Sheriff's Department gives certified training to other mounted units.
Kralik said the department recently donated a horse to Camp Venture,
but Dee's physical condition hurt her chances of being donated as a
The online bidding started at 12:49 p.m. July 30 and ended at 6 p.m.
Thursday, according to records kept online by Auctions International,
which also auctions off surplus items for municipalities and businesses.
The horse's pre-auction bio states, "Dee was diagnosed with front foot
soreness and lameness due to arthritis and signs of lower ringbone on
both front legs. There is some lameness to the right rear hock and the
possibility of some mild neurological problems. Interested bidders should
call to inspect."
For the "1993 Percheron Sheriff's Horse," 35 bids were made, starting with
Kralik's opening bid of $50.
The horse drew four bidders with "jerseyoneauto" and "kralikj" bidding the
cost up to $303 by Aug. 1, according to the Web site.
Then another bidder, "12333," competed until "kralikj" bid $373.
Finally, "123sondaydrivebernvil" bid $400 and went up to $490 until
"kralikj" filed a $500 bid at 4:25 p.m. Aug. 2.
Kralik said he had authorized his bids up to $700. The final price of $596
Dee remains at the unit's stables off of Route 202 and will be taken to
Pennsylvania soon to live out her golden years in Gettysburg.
"And the horse was extremely grateful," Kralik said, laughing.
Click on title above to go to "1993 Percheron Sheriff's Horse" at www.auctionsinternational.com/item.cgi?show_item=48278.