SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A beloved member of the Saratoga Springs Police Department Mounted Unit is being remembered for his service to the community.
King Tut suddenly and unexpectedly passed away Tuesday. Many may recognize him from his 20 years of patrolling the streets and attending events in the Spa City.
For two decades, King Tut stole hearts all over Saratoga. Whether he was patrolling Broadway with his late former partner, Jupiter, providing security at the Saratoga Race Course, or showing his therapeutic side at the farm, he made his presence known. He was the biggest horse in the mounted unit, yet no task was too small.
“We could use him on Caroline Street after midnight, dealing with crowd control. The next morning we could bring him to the schools, let the kindergartners see him, and pet him,” said Officer Aaron Moore, one of King Tut’s frequent riders.
King Tut came from humble beginnings at a rescue farm. He was adopted by a family who believed he was destined for a higher purpose, so they donated him to the police department, where he became a bridge between people and the police.
“When you’re out on a horse, you can talk to 1,000 different people, and really break down barriers for people who may not even feel comfortable coming up to speak with an officer,” said Officer Glenn Barrett, another member of the department who partnered with King Tut often.
In a city where impressive equines are not in short supply, King Tut managed to stand out. He charmed the public with a viral moment in 2016 when an officer rode him through a Dunkin’ drive thru. While he could have fun, he took his job seriously. The week before his death, he worked a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) event at SPAC.
When King Tut wasn’t out on the streets of Saratoga serving his community, he could be found at Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga, getting some much-deserved rest and relaxation, sometimes even cuddling up with his partner Apollo.
Wednesday, Apollo was alone in the paddock he used to share with King Tut.
“They mourn just the way we do,” Officer Moore said. “He’s going to be sad out there.”
The folks who run the farm will miss King Tut, too. But one day after he passed, he made his presence known.
“This morning, on my way into work, I was greeted with a rainbow that just followed me into the farm,” said Dr. Erin Christopher-Sisk, Co-Founder, Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga.
Christopher-Sisk believes that was a sign from King Tut.
The Saratoga Springs Police Department said goodbye to King Tut Tuesday with a walk-out ceremony, saluting him for his service, and for the thousands of smiles he spurred.
The department is suggesting ways the community can honor King Tut’s memory. You can e-mail them (email@example.com) or send via social media your favorite moments and photos of King Tut. You can also make a donation to their mounted unit.