Rare Caisson Horses Given Away to Qualified Applicants
Two equestrian retirees from the United States military are being given away for free to good homes after faithfully serving their country in the Armed Forces for many years. Quincy and Kennedy a pair of robust caisson horses, are up for adoption to the first person who can provide them with lots of hay, a dry spot in a barn, and plenty of room to run. According to David Smith, a Staff Sergeant in the Army who has worked closely with Quincy and Kennedy since their prime, “Now, it’s their time to be a horse.”
Smith went on to comment on the quality of the horses’ many years of dedicated service to the United States military. Quincy, a quarter horse who now suffers from a navicular disease which can lead to lameness, was known as one of the most impressive animals in the brigade, and Kennedy, a Standardbred, only retired because of a tender foot condition. Both horses, who are highly trained and served as huge morale boosters for the Armed Forces, are now being given away a responsible, patriotic owner.
Numerous pictures of Quincy and Kennedy can be found circulating the internet, each of which illustrates their poise and grace as they quietly stood at Arlington National Cemetery during their tour of duty with the Army’s Old Guard. As caisson horses, they were trained to pull burial coffins and uniformly bring fallen service members to their grave sites with reverent precision. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Quincy and Kennedy were riderless horses, performing such solemn and stylized rituals without the direct help of a trainer.
During Quincy’s 11 years of life and throughout Kennedy’s 15, each horse performed their act an average of 8 times per day on a bi-weekly basis. These dedicated equestrian soldiers did their duty in all types of weather, and now the faithful men and women of the United States Army would like to find suitable homes for the retirees to spend their last days – a rare opportunity since very few people ever get to own a caisson horse.
Many people agree that caisson horses are ideal because of their calm and stoic demeanor. In some cases, specially trained Army caisson horses have been known to help wounded soldiers heal, and all are accustomed to hard work. Most of the time, caisson horses start their day before the sun comes up and end it only after the sun goes down. Horses like these have performed at the funerals of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy. Interestingly, Ronald Reagan’s caisson horse is still alive and honored as an elder statesman.
As one would expect, some extreme vetting is in order before the horses get given away. To find the perfect new owner, interested parties are required to submit a 6-page application with prying questions such as “If you go on vacation, what would you do with this animal?” Applicants are invited to visit Quincy and Kennedy on Tuesdays at Fort Myer, where the horses have made their home for the last decade.
Quaint and comfortable are the qualities of the ideal home for Quincy and Kennedy, who both enjoy words of praise and the sound of music. Owning a retired military caisson horse is like owning a piece of history, so the process of becoming qualified to adopt may take some time. For more information or apply for ownership, click here.