Skip to content

Mounted Police Horse Mortally Hurt In Hit & Run


He was called the Gentle Giant, a majestic creature that did his job with aplomb, had a horse's sense of humor and was always willing to please. Yet in the line of duty, Brigadier, an eight-year-old prize-winning Belgian cross with the Toronto mounted police unit, was violently struck in what police are calling a deliberate hit-and-run in Scarborough on Friday.

In an emotional and heartbreaking scene, the emergency task force unit was called to euthanize the animal after it suffered two broken legs and lay on the road in excruciating pain. Police say Brigadier took the brunt of the vehicle's impact and in all likelihood saved his rider's life. Constable Kevin Bradfield, who joined the mounted unit last May, was thrown onto the road and suffered broken ribs and neck and leg injuries. He was treated at Scarborough Centenary hospital and is recuperating at home. Although Sgt. Mike Puterbaugh of the mounted police unit said a horse's status as an enforcement officer is something to be determined, “when we're on the street, the horse wears a breast plate that would bear the Toronto police crest on it. That's the logo of the Toronto police service that serves the citizens of Toronto.”

The devastating loss of Brigadier has upset and angered members of the mounted unit and those who knew the animal. Toronto police purchased him in 2001. Brigadier was one of 28 horses and 40 officers that make up the city's mounted unit, originally founded in 1886 to control speeding horses and patrol outlying areas. Brigadier's remains are being sent to the University of Guelph for further investigation and to be cremated. His ashes will be returned to Toronto for a memorial service.

“I think the entire city of Toronto will be touched by the loss of this animal,” said Police Chief Bill Blair, who attended the scene Friday night. Blair said the force will be investigating the event “very aggressively.”

“It was hard to tell (Bradfield) his horse had to be put down,” said Constable Chris Heard. “The horse saved his life and he knows that.”

More Stories

  • Professional Advisory Committee Named to Equine Sports Council

    Equine Sports Council is honored to announce its Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) comprised of representatives who are industry leaders in the American Saddlebred, Morgan and Hackney breeds.  Read More
  • Bookend Morning

    Read More
  • Kentucky State Fair Update

    The American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association (ASHBA) received a letter from the Kentucky State Fair Board (KSFB) yesterday acknowledging that they would not be pursuing a path that would allow them to hold the ASHBA Prize Program classes at the Kentucky State Fair Horse Show in 2024.  Read More
  • FoalsNFocus – Week 3

    We’re in full swing as entries for our weekly contest are being submitted from breeders across the country. This week’s winning shot came from Shale HillStables, Muncie, Illinois. Jan McGlaughlin and family sent this photo of their curious filly by Reedann’s Flying Double out of Forty-TwoSecrets (by Forty-Second Street ERB). Read More
  • Obituary – Jane Blue

    A USEF judge, steward, many times committee member, exhibitor and lover of all things Morgan, our friend Jane Blue passed away Monday, April 8. A tribute obituary will run in an upcoming issue of Saddle Horse Report. Read More
  • A New Look For Connecticut Morgan Horse Association

    The Connecticut Morgan Horse Association, a leading Morgan Horse Club, is thrilled to announce an exciting rebranding initiative in partnership with Firebrick Design and Pam Howard that marks a significant milestone in the club's evolution. The comprehensive transformation encompasses a new logo and visual identity, redefining CMHA's presence in the equestrian ecosystem. Read More
  • Latest Issue 4 8 24

    Read More
  • FoalsNFocus – Week 2

    Week two of the #foalsNfocusphoto contest had several adorable shots from a group of nice American Saddlebred, Morgan and Hackney babies. Not many things put a smile on your face the way these shots do as they are the pride and joy of their breeders. Read More
  • The Evolution of Buchanan Stables

    May 12, 2001 is the day Michael Buchanan came to the United States from South Africa to be a part of the horse business. He’s worked several different jobs on the path that eventually led him to Shelbyville, Kentucky, where he purchased part of the Split Decision farm to hangout his own shingle as Buchanan Stables. Read More
  • Latest Issue YIR 2023

    Read More