The Leon County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse was re-established by the late Sheriff Larry Campbell shortly after he took office in 1997. The volunteer members provide their own horses for mounted posse duty. Horses are used in patrolling at various events and for riding in parades. These riders and their horses welcome the opportunity to represent the Sheriff’s Office. They take time to answer questions regarding the posse and most especially, their horses. Horses must be calm and patient, allowing strangers, and especially small children, to come up and pet them.
The horses owned by the volunteer members come from varied backgrounds and disciplines. One member uses her horse for Competitive Trail Riding, while another uses her horse for pleasure riding. No matter the background, these horses are people-friendly and must accept strange and sometimes scary situations confidently.
All horses, prior to acceptance into the Mounted Posse, are required to undergo an evaluation. They must successfully maneuver an obstacle course in a calm, controlled manner. This not only tests the horses, but the riders as well. Members are responsible for any expenses related to their privately-owned horse. This includes veterinary bills, feed and maintenance as well as saddles, bridles and other tack items.During the fall, horses and riders can be seen at high school football games taking place at Gene Cox Stadium. Volunteers can also be found riding on July 4 at Tom Brown Park and other sporting events throughout the year. Since the inception of Mounted Posse patrols, car break-ins and other crimes at these events have decreased dramatically. Riders atop horses have a vantage point that foot patrol, or even vehicle patrols do not. The horses easily maneuver between vehicles and riders’ views can encompass larger areas with one sweep.