in Bordeaux what do the police on horseback do?


The horses are equipped with rubber, all-terrain horseshoes, so as not to damage the hooves and prevent them from slipping on the road.

Emily Dubrul

That day, in the saddle on Rock me Baby, Sergeant Christophe Mirebeau, the proud representative of this cavalry brigade with his twenty-five years of service, and Claire on Gatchi. “Hi, are you new to Bordeaux? asked a passerby. – No, the cavalry brigade …

The horses are equipped with rubber, all-terrain horseshoes, so as not to damage the hooves and prevent them from slipping on the road.


The horses are equipped with rubber, all-terrain horseshoes, so as not to damage the hooves and prevent them from slipping on the road.

Emily Dubrul

That day, in the saddle on Rock me Baby, Sergeant Christophe Mirebeau, the proud representative of this cavalry brigade with his twenty-five years of service, and Claire on Gatchi. “Hi, are you new to Bordeaux? asked a passerby. “No, the equestrian brigade has existed since 1987,” Christophe Mirebeau never tires of answering all those who are still surprised by its presence in the city. “It was created under Chabans-Delmas to monitor 160 hectares of the Parc des Flowers and the Bordeaux Forest, which could not be reached by car. In 1997, when I arrived, there were eight riders for eight horses. Since 2016, we have reduced the sails, ”the foreman continues, as if justifying this invisibility.

Over the years, as the city of the Gironde developed and despite the reduction in staff, the brigade expanded its field of intervention: the Ginko eco-region and the beach sector in the summer, which are difficult to reach by vehicles, then the Bordeaux park, the Public Garden, the Garonne quays and soon the Barails ecological reserve. To the point that during the celebration of the end of the year you can knock on the cobblestones of the Cours de l’Intendance, Avenue de Tourny and even Place Pey-Berland. “Our horses are equipped with rubber all-terrain shoes to protect their hooves and prevent them from slipping on the road,” explains Christophe Mirebeau.

To join the mounted police in Bordeaux, you must be a full-time police officer and hold a 5 gallop.


To join the mounted police in Bordeaux, you must be a full-time police officer and hold a 5 gallop.

Emily Dubrul

animal mediation

At the sight of horsemen, a couple of tourists with a little girl in their arms try to drive up, attracted like a magnet by graceful horses. “Don’t be afraid, they are very cute,” Claire assures, albeit impressively due to the presence of the mare. “1.70 m at the withers is always impressive. A little further on, a group of retirees asks to take a selfie next to the riders. “A mounted policeman is first and foremost a policeman. We fulfill our mission as municipal police, local police,” Christoph explains. “And the horse is a great mediator that promotes contact. People don’t see us the way they see us in the car, that’s obvious. They almost forgot about the uniform. The horse allows us to soften our image, to promote communication with the population. »

“The horse allows us to soften our image, to facilitate communication with the population,” says Brigadier Commander-in-Chief Christophe Mirebeau.


“The horse allows us to soften our image, to facilitate communication with the population,” says Brigadier Commander-in-Chief Christophe Mirebeau.

Emily Dubrul

This is the goal pursued by the municipality, which is struggling with a wave of insecurity after the conclusion. “We are asked for closeness, but it is not always easy to create,” continues Jean-Luc, second in command. “It’s true that our horses make work more enjoyable, people say hello to us. This never happens in a car. Even in twenty years of mountain biking, I have never had such a satisfying approach as on a horse. »

We’ve already raced a motorcycle that did rodeo. […] We caught her at a gallop

Like their counterparts on foot, on mountain bikes or in vehicles, the four members of the Mounted Brigade play a role in maintaining order, public safety and surveillance of urban spaces, especially in conditions of uncivilized behavior: dogs without a leash, alcohol. consumption, wild dumping, etc. And, like any sworn cop, riders have the right to voice offenders.

“We are also required to ensure the safety of large mass events such as the Wine Festival, the sporting events at the Matmouth stadium or the International Fair,” explains Jean-Luc. “On horseback, the rider culminates at a height of 2.70 m. We see far and we are seen from afar, this is ideal. And we impose it. Some are less intelligent,” he adds with a smile. In constant contact with their counterparts in the city center, the officers of the Mounted Brigade can also intervene as reinforcements. “Even muscular,” continues Christophe. “We have already raced a motorcycle that did a rodeo in the Flower Park. We caught her on the run. As soon as the person was detained, we called our team in the car. »

Sharp workout

To join the mounted police in Bordeaux, you must fulfill a few prerequisites: “You must be a full-time police officer, hold a 5 gallop and, of course, love horses,” the brigade commander clarifies. This is what binds our four horsemen. “It’s not just about putting them on patrol. We also have to take care of them, train them, train them sometimes, that’s part of our job. »

Trained at the Mont-de-Marsan Hippodrome, Christophe began his equestrian career as a jockey and later received a spur in the Republican Guard. The passion for horses never left him. Jean-Luc, who joined the municipal police of Bordeaux in 1999 and created a mountain bike brigade there, then a Segway brigade (now extinct), led horseback riding in Cap-Ferret.

“When I joined the equestrian team in 2018, it was already twenty years since I rode. It’s like riding a bike, you can’t get lost! You just need to get back in the saddle. But, contrary to popular belief, horseback riding is still a sport. You need to be in shape and train all year round. »

Riders care for, train and occasionally coach their horses.


Riders care for, train and occasionally coach their horses.

Emily Dubrul

Christophe, Claire, Jean-Luc and Audrey, the latest recruit, have gone through riding school. With a horse as a partner, they were trained in professional gestures of technical intervention (GTPI) adapted to the requirements of the mounted police profession: arresting a person on horseback, positioning an animal in a crowd, or even learning to desensitize to city noise. , smoke, firecrackers, etc. Because if municipal horses are chosen for their calm temperament, ability to listen and ability to learn, the rider must be able to manage his steed under all circumstances. “We must, for example, prevent the animal from panicking and galloping. If a horse has a violent reaction, often associated with fear, it can throw us off balance. So we accustom them to all kinds of situations. »

The end of the patrol is approaching. Near the stone bridge, a dog on a leash begins to bark loudly, frightened by the approaching horse. Gatchi, a 5-year-old boy, did not blink during the desensitization process. “It deserves a little ‘special horse’ strawberry candy,” concludes Sgt.

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