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Sun, Sept. 22

Arizona Rangers to host police horse demo, clinic Saturday

PRESCOTT VALLEY - The Verde Valley Company of the Arizona Rangers will play host Saturday to a joint law enforcement and rangers' defensive tactics horse-mounted officer demonstration at the Yavapai County Fairgrounds, 10401 Highway 89A.

This open-to-the-public event starts at noon and coincides with the Arizona Rangers' quarterly board of directors and board of governors meeting, which will be conducted in the morning on the first floor of the main fairgrounds building. An estimated 75 to 100 rangers from across the state expect to participate in both the meeting and the demo.

As many as 40 VIP guests will then join the rangers for lunch, where they are encouraged to informally discuss the law enforcement assistance that rangers provide in Arizona.

From noon to 12:30 p.m. inside the fairgrounds' Coors Event Center, members of the Arizona Mounted Officers Training Association, or MOTA, will demonstrate various defensive tactic techniques that horse-mounted officers use to protect themselves and others during large outdoor public gatherings.

Sixteen certified mounted officers with the Tempe and Phoenix police departments, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, and rangers from the Verde Valley Company of Arizona Rangers compose the demonstration team.

Earlier in the day, starting at 8 a.m., the Rangers' board of directors will meet to discuss a proposal for forming a new company of rangers in the Prescott Valley area, which would be known as the Lonesome Valley Company, mounted training officer John Arnold said. The group would be separate from the Verde Valley contingent and represent Prescott, PV and Chino Valley.

Later in the afternoon, from 2 to 5 p.m., MOTA will sponsor a Basic Equitation and Desensitization Clinic for horses, also inside the Coors Event Center.

Folks who have watched police horses in action and ever wondered how these animals get trained are encouraged to attend.

For a fee, certified police mounted instructors and trainers from various Arizona police agencies will give horse owners' animals sensory, obstacle and desensitization training. The idea is to help horse owners forge a lasting partnership with their horses based on confidence, trust and respect.

The entry fee for the clinic is $30 for MOTA members and $50 for the general public. This clinic is limited to 20 horses and riders, with all proceeds benefiting the training of mounted officers.

For more information about the clinic and/or to register, call 602-885-0811 or log on to www.mountedofficer.com.

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