Dubai: Once temperamental but now social, Kuzumil is the oldest horse, aged 25, among its 117 equine peers at Dubai Mounted Police Station.
Kuzumil was born in Argentina in 1996. The white beauty travelled to many countries and participated in national and international tournaments before joining Dubai Police in 2007. Kuzumil had been “very bad-tempered”, said Dubai Police, and not very keen on crowds or loud noises until it joined the force, who helped the horse become more sociable and joined parades and lively shows.
Kuzumil’s favourite rider is Major General Muhammad Issa Al Adhb and favourite treats are apples, carrots, and corn-and-soy based meals.
Dubai Mounted Police
Since the 1970s, Dubai Police has been one of the leading police organisations to use horses in their work.
Expert Major General Muhammad Issa Al Adhb, Director of Dubai Mounted Police Station, said Dubai Mounted Police began in 1976 with an order by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The section used to be affiliated with the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Institutions and had nine horses and four handlers.
“Since then, Dubai Mounted Police has witnessed great development and attracted interest from the Dubai officials, leaders and citizens. The section was restructured into a sub-department affiliated with the General Department of Criminal Investigations before it became a police station in 2019,” Maj Gen Al Adhb said.
Maj Gen Al Adhb explained that the Station serves Dubai Police’s objective of reducing crime and ensuring safety and security as horses are involved in daily patrols across industrial, commercial and tourist areas, which contributes to preventing crime, arresting suspects and locating suspicious and abandoned vehicles.
He noted that in 2021, they conducted 2,279 patrols, including 49 security patrols, 81 community patrols, and 457 awareness patrols, in collaboration with Dubai Police volunteers to raise awareness on the announced precautionary measures against COVID-19.
The director of Dubai Mounted Police Station said they have trained and provided equine-assisted therapy to 350 children of determination as part of an initiative they launched in 2007 in collaboration with the Community Development Authority (CDA).
“Our horses are assigned different roles. Some are trained for riot control, some for parades and events, some for patrols and others help encourage children with disabilities to open up to the world. There are also horses that represent the station in endurance races,” Maj Gen Al Adhb added.
The Dubai Mounted Police also participate in various festivals and events, including securing venues, stadiums, and performing shows and parades.
“We always get approached by people, especially children. Everyone loves horses. They want to know about the majestic creatures, so they come up and ask questions. Cops on horses are less intimidating, and people feel safe around them,” Maj Gen Al Adhb said.
He added that the Dubai Mounted Police Station had obtained international recognition from the renowned British Horse Society (BHS) after passing the Society’s assessment on work systems for training workers and horses, human resources mechanisms, occupational safety, and work procedures. Thus, Dubai Police has become “the first law enforcement agency to obtain this prestigious global recognition”.
Largest horse parade
Maj Gen Al Adhb said Dubai Mounted Police Station has won several awards, most notably the Fatima Bint Mubarak Award for Excellence and Community Intelligence, the Princess Haya Award for Special Education, the Ideas Award, and the Sports Creativity Award. He added that in 2018, the Dubai Mounted Police Station broke the Guinness World Record for the largest parade of horses with UAE flags.
The director of Dubai Mounted Police Station also said the equine rehabilitation programme had made some “remarkable achievements” over the past 15 years. The programme includes rehabilitating and training racing horses and enabling them to participate in events, shows and festivals.
He added that 173 people from the Dubai Mounted Police Station, Dubai Police Academy and Hemaya International Centre participated in the Royal British Windsor Show 2019, in cooperation with the Dubai Equestrian Club and Al Meydan.
“Our participation succeeded in catching the interest of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who was impressed by our success in rehabilitating and training racing horses, so they could participate in various shows and withstand the hustle and bustle of live shows and loud music.”
The director of Dubai Mounted Police Station revealed that some of the station’s innovations include an engineless bicycle for training horses equipped with front and rear fenders for docking horses’ kicks during training. In addition, the station’s has developed a water spray device and a rubber balls throwing machine used to create scenarios that simulate riots.
Maj Gen Al Adhb said they have also developed a horse-training armoured vehicle equipped with front and rear fenders to train horses on anti-riot response. The armoured vehicle is also fitted with an artificial smoke device to train horses on fire outbreak scenarios during riots, loudspeakers and customised front and rear cameras.
Major Dhahi Salem Al Jallaf, Director of Administrative Affairs at Dubai Mounted Police Station, said one of their pivotal work aspects is veterinary and horse care.
“Our veterinarians and nurses work tirelessly to ensure the horses’ safety and wellbeing at all times, treat their injuries and follow up on their health and immunisation schedule,” he added.