RANCHO SANTA FE — As always, polo in Del Mar is the place to be on a Sunday afternoon. While all were excited to watch the Pan-American Cup Finals, the mood shifted during the break when announcer, Steve Lewandowski, handed over the microphone to The Oceanside Police K9 Officer’s Association.
Game dedication was in honor of “First Responders Day,” which also included Del Mar Lifeguards, San Diego Fire Rescue, and all first responders. While emergency vehicles rolled onto the field, including the police K9 patrol cars, Oceanside police officers Anis Trabelsi and Sam Hay were there with their K9 partners, Max and Gonzo.
While Hay did a short obedience phase with Gonzo, demonstrating the importance of obedience in police line work, the action skyrocketed when the protection segment entered the picture.
Both Max and Gonzo impressed the crowd.
Volunteering his time that day, decoy and professional dog trainer, David Greene, acted as a suspect in pursuit when each officer deployed their dog after him. In one “staged” scenario, Greene snatched a woman’s purse that was standing on the sideline; and, as he ran across the polo field, Trabelsi remotely opened his car door and Max launched out and apprehended Greene upon command.
Wearing a padded sleeve, Greene caught each dog.
Polo watchers were amazed with the speed, force, and agility from these police dogs.
Handlers, Hay and Trabelsi, also provided narratives while everyone was watching.
Polo attendees were very supportive in their donations to The Oceanside Police K9 Officer’s Association, a charitable organization and a subsidiary of The Oceanside Police Officer’s Association.
Lewandowski told the crowd, “The Oceanside K9 Officers Association thanks you for being here this afternoon. This nonprofit, established by the officers in 2013, bridges the gap for the K9s healthcare, training tools, and retired police dogs.” He continued, “In the line of duty, sometimes these police dogs may get injured requiring expensive veterinary care. Thanks to generous community members, these dogs can stay healthy and safe, while they protect and serve.”
Also on hand for the day was Oceanside Police Officer, Tiffany Hogan.
The Polo Club then invited officers Hogan and Hay for the trophy presentation to the winning polo team, Hanalei Bay.
On this special day, the San Diego Polo Club also offered their support with a fundraiser for San Diego County’s nonprofit, Solutions for Change.