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Retirement ceremony held for Orange County sheriff's horse

Holly spent 10 years working with deputies


ORLANDO, Fla. – After more than a decade of working tirelessly with deputies for Orange County citizens, Hollywood, a 21-year-old Quarter Horse, is retiring from the Sheriff's Office Mounted Patrol Unit.

"I get to speak for her because she's a little 'horse' at this time," said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings at a celebration held Thursday for Hollywood, known as Holly.

Holly has been with the Sheriff's Office for 13 years, and on her last day of duty, she took a final lap around the building and stopped for a salute of the flags in front of the facility. Then, it was on to a fun retirement party.

Demings took a farewell ride on Holly, and the staff who worked with her reminisced.

"She's a very special horse, and we get a lot of horses come through this unit and some of them make it, some of them don't. But for those who make it for this length of time, there's got to be something special about that animal," said OCSO barn manager Amy Allmond as she wiped away tears.

Holly was donated to the Sheriff's Office from a breeding farm in 2002. During her time with the Mounted Patrol, she proved to be good at crowd control, officials said.  She worked events in Orlando and all over the state, including the Super Bowl in Jacksonville and the NBA Finals.

In 2011, Holly helped investigators find the body of Michelle DuBois, a mom from Belle Isle, in the woods. DuBois had been missing for three days.

"She's very much business. She really liked her job, really was passionate about her job and she was a very safe mounted patrol horse," said Allmond.

Holly will be taken to Mill Creek Farms in Alachua County, where she'll join three other former mounts that have retired there.