As a boy in 1983, I met the Prince of Wales in Echuca on a school excursion. At the time, I felt very lucky. That’s why it was especially humbling for me to be there to meet Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, last week as the Mounted Police Unit celebrated its 190th anniversary.
It was a special experience for the Royals and our mounted police who treated them to a display of police troop drills and crowd control. The force's longest-serving female mounted police officer, Sergeant Karen Owen, who has served with the mounted police for 32 years, led the drills.
The Duchess, an enthusiastic horse-rider, inspected the horses at the unit's historic stables. Prince Charles toured the museum with me and was interested in how the policing equipment had changed over the last 190 years. They took time to speak to mounted officers about their horses as well as Riding for the Disabled Association horse riders.
Prince Charles was also interested in wagering tax changes we legislated in Parliament last week and the benefits this will deliver to the NSW racing industry especially the boost it will give country racing.
The Mounted Unit has a prestigious history, including the honour of performing at Windsor Castle in 2012, during The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pageant. The unit was formed in 1825 making it the oldest continuous mounted unit in the world. Its original role was to handle traffic infringements.