WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – For the last 47 years, at least one thing has been consistent in Trumbull County’s Veterans Day Parade.
Allen Smith has taken part in every one since he started with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol Unit in 1970. He can name all the horses that have been his partners: Elmer, Lover, Midnight and — for the last 17 years — Skip.
Saturday, Skip accompanied Smith on his final ride.
“By the time you get to be 81-years-old, it’s time to call it quits, you know?” Smith said.
The Veterans Day Parade is special to Allen, as he’s a veteran himself, having served in the Army for two years.
He made a living as a carpenter in Orangeville in northern Trumbull County — his lifelong hometown. The Mounted Patrol Unit is something he did on the side.
A friend of Smith convinced him to join 47 years ago.
“We joined it for riding in the parades and stuff like that,” Smith said. “Not so much the police work.”
But there was some police work involved.
Smith says he was a part of the search efforts for Rainn Peterson in 2015. One of the fondest memories for Smith is riding in Oktoberfest in Canada.
But his favorite thing about the Mounted Patrol Unit lasts a lifetime.
“The fellowship with the guys and the horses,” Smith said.
It was a family affair Saturday, as Smith’s great grandkids sported special shirts Saturday afternoon, all for Allen Smith’s final ride.