Oliver, a four-legged workhorse among the ranks of the Minneapolis police’s mounted patrol, is hoofing it into retirement and a life of leisure on a Stearns County farm.

The 19-year-old thoroughbred will be handed over to his new owners Friday in a high noon ceremony at the department’s stables in Maple Plain.

Once he’s nestled into his new surroundings, Oliver will occasionally be trotted out a few times a year for local parades.

Oliver has been on the force since 2001, described by the mounted patrol as its “go-to” horse, having worked 1,200 or so patrol and bar-closing events.

Less than a year into his tenure, Oliver was chosen as the department’s officer of the month in October 2002 for helping a sergeant round up a shooting suspect.

Along with crowd control, the mounted patrol also works streets and neighborhoods, participates in parades and attends community picnics and similar outreach events.

Counting Oliver, the current roster of patrol horses totals seven.

Paul Walsh