The Caisson Unit began research and planning in 2005 with four beautiful Friesian horses donated by Jay and Janet Stingel of Arden, NC. This team was very well traveled. They began their lives in Holland before coming to America via Canada. Once in America the Friesians spent most of their working life on Mackinac Island, Michagan.
In 2005 Mr. and Mrs. Stingel donated Kenny, Fetse, Fonger, and Detlif to the State Highway Patrol for service in a newly formed Caisson Unit. The Friesians served us well through 2010. Of the four, Kenny is the only remaining Friesian and was used as a caparisoned, or riderless horse, until his retirement late in 2010. No horse has ever preformed this task with more flare and more dignity than Kenny did.
On July 3, 2008 the U.S. Army 3rd. Infantry Regiment transferred five beautiful black Morgan/Percheron horses to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. The State Highway Patrol wasted no time in entering into an agreement with the N. C. Trooper’s Association to provide care for the newly acquired Caisson Unit horses. The Army came out to inspect and approve the farm before the transfer was made official and the State Highway Patrol and the Trooper’s Association became the proud owners of Danny, Grant, Brooks, Dunn and Kiwi.
All five served with the 3rd. Infantry for many years at Arlington National Cemetery and helped lay to rest countless American heros. Danny and Grant were selected to be the “wheel team” in President Ronald Reagan’s funeral for their muscular build and easy going nature.
These horses continue to be exposed to sights and sounds that other teams would not dream of such as close proximity to large crowds, marching bands, motorcycles, rifle teams, constant travel, all weather conditions, etc. We are extremely proud to have this piece of American history.
Meet The Horses
Dunn: Dunn is 25 years old and is a Percheron and Morgan cross breed. He was donated by the Old Guard at Arlington in 2008. The position Dunn is used for Caisson is Cap horse (riderless horse).
Kiwi: Kiwi is 25 years old and is a Percheron and Morgan cross breed. He was donated by the Old Guard at Arlington in 2008. The position Kiwi is used for Caisson is Section horse.
Willie: Willie is 10 years old and is a Percheron and Morgan cross breed. He was purchased in 2015 from a ranch in Troup, TX. The position Willie is used for Caisson is Near Lead position.
Waylon: Waylon is 10 years old and is a Percheron and Morgan cross breed. He was purchased in 2015 from a ranch in Troup, TX. The position Waylon is used for Caisson is Off Lead position.
Kate: Kate is 12 years old and is a Percheron breed. She was purchased in 2017 from a farm in Mcbee, SC. The position Kate is used for Caisson is Near Wheel position.
Nell: Nell is 13 years old and is a Percheron breed. She was purchased in 2017 from a farm in Mcbee, SC. The position Nell is used for Caisson is Off Wheel position.