Long Beach Mounted Police
The Long Beach Mounted Police was founded in 1935 by 16 residents – businessmen, sportsmen and civic leaders – to bring recognition to the City of Long Beach by riding under its banner in major parades and to keep alive California’s golden traditions of horsemanship and the outdoor way of life. The original barn and clubhouse was at Palo Verde and Wardlow (near the present day Diagonal). Former Police Chief, Alvin Slaight, was president of the organization in 1952. Golden palomino horses, sterling silver saddles and the American flag are trademarks of the Long Beach Mounted Police. The group started out with horses of many colors, but
in the late1940’s they changed to the golden palomino, which is symbolic of California history. The Long Beach Mounted Police have been riding in the Tournament of Roses Parade since 1948.
The saddles are all unique works of art. Each saddle is black leather, Western style, decorated by custom-made sterling silver created by artists of the 30’s and 40’s such as Edward H. Bohlin of Hollywood. Complementing the saddle are silver and leather breast collars, bridles and reins, as well as silver gun belts, holsters and Western-style six-shooters. Traditional Western embroidered shirts, pants, black boots and white hats complete the outfits.
High points in the long history of this organization include Inaugural Parades for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and Richard M. Nixon in 1969. In 1967, the troop rode throughout Latin America on a goodwill tour for the City of Long Beach (using horses borrowed in each city). They visited Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City among others. In 1970 and 2008 they rode in the world famous Calgary Stampede in Canada. There were two trips to Cheyenne, Wyoming’s Frontier Days – 1985 and 1998, as well as trips to San Antonio, Texas in 1984 and Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1992. They flew the horses and tack to Hawaii for the King Kamehameha Parade in 1970.
The members are volunteers with the Long Beach Police Department and serve as good will ambassadors throughout the world. Many of the members pictured in the Mounted Police brochure photo gallery have ridden in local and regional parades such as the Martin Luther King Day Parade, Veteran’s Day Parade and Daisy Lane Parade in Long Beach. Other Southland parades include: Indio Date Festival, San Juan Capistrano’s “Return of the Swallows” Parade, Mule Days in Bishop, Santa Maria Elk’s Parade and Rodeo, Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade, Santa Barbara Fiesta Days Parade, Portuguese Bend National Horse Show, the Hollywood Christmas Parade and the Pasadena Rose Parade. New appearances often fill out the parade schedule such as Scottsdale’s Parada Del Sol, Prescott Arizona’s Frontier Days and Las Vegas’ Helldorado Parade. Other appearances include special events at the Santa Anita Race Track, Long Beach Veterans Hospital, the Shriner Crippled Children’s Hospital, Los Flores Historical Day in Long Beach, the Tournament of Roses Equestfest, Celebrate Reading in Long Beach, and other charities and educational events.