The horses

The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) horses are purchased from individuals. They therefore come from different breeders. They must have specific qualities and characteristics.

Behavioural description

  • Calm temperament and cool head
  • Friendly animal that likes to be handled
  • Tolerance for noise and music

Physical description

  • Canadian breed (can also be a crossbred)
  • A gelding (male)
  • Coat preferably dark bay or black
  • Minimum height of 15 hands 3*
  • Good conformation
  • Good physical condition, to be able to travel on different types of terrain (mountain, paved road, gravel, concrete) and deal with difficult conditions (cold, ice, snow)

* A hand is a common unit of measurement for measuring the size of a horse (from the ground to the withers). One hand equals four inches, so a horse that is “15 hands 3” is 15 times 4 inches plus 3 inches, or 63 inches tall (1.6 m).

Black Jack cools off by lying down in the sand Black Jack cools off by lying down in the sand


At retirement, the SPVM contacts people who had shown interest in purchasing a police horse. If there is more than one potential buyer, a random draw is held.

Prior to nomination, a visit of the retired horse's new residence is done to ensure the horse will be treated well after a life serving citizens. Moreover, a contract is signed by both parties to ensure the horse will not be used for commercial purposes.