Discreetly Mine, Dublin, Endorsement, Dean’s Kitten, and Sidney’s Candy are some of the genetic wonders which will be running for the roses at this year’s Kentucky Derby! The island of Key West has a thoroughbred of our own to rave about. You can always count on winning when you place your bet on ICB patrolling our streets with championship style.
Standing 17 hands, ICB is the essential equestrian leading the Key West Police Department’s Mounted Patrol. Officer Alberto DeVelasco holds the reins to ICB and together they are partners in mounted patrol.
“Any event that deals with crowds, he is our main horse at the barn,” Officer DeVelasco says.
Just as some canines don’t make good crime dogs, the same is true with horses. But, with a sweet disposition and affection for attention, ICB is a prize for our police department.
“Plus, people react differently to an officer on a horse versus a car or a motorcycle, city spokeswoman Alyson Crean points out. “So, they provide a good opportunity for our officers to interact with the community.”
“I’ve been involved in police work going on 26 years and out of all of those years, no one has run up to my car to talk to me. When I’m on the horse, I can go one block and have ten people stop me about the horse,” De Vescala describes. “When I ride through the neighborhood they come up and pet the horse and it breaks the ice. Then, they tell me about problems or concerns they’re having. Nothing can beat it at all.”
ICB was purchased by DeVelasco’s father for an unknown price. What the officer does know is: at one point, ICB was a contender on the racetrack. He guesses ICB “wasn’t that great” and that’s why he’s retired.
Horses have a tendency to be generally lazy. Most want to pass their time loafing and grazing, but ICB enjoys being out and about and loves to trot from the Truman Annex, around the Atlantic and Roosevelt Boulevards, and then down Duval.
At this juncture you’re probably dying to know what ICB stands for. He arrived in Key West as “Captain Budget.” DeVelasco called him “C.B.” for short. A tourist said, “You should call him ICB!”
“I said, ‘What?’ recalls Officer De Vescala.”
“He said, “ICB. Call him ICB for ice cold beer!’ It just kind of stuck!”
Only in Key West
Regardless, ICB is trained to herd people and control crowds. He has the perfect temperament for time-honored island traditions marked by the masses. Interestingly, ICB, and the other two horses which make up the mounted patrol, doesn’t cost the city a dime. They’re privately owned and volunteers help to feed, exercise, and comb them.
“He likes to be groomed,” DeVelasco says enthusiastically. “The brush through his hair is like a massage for him!”
ICB is kept out at the stables next to the PAL gym and works two or three days a week.
DeVelasco pegs him to be right around ten years old, but “never ran his tattoo.” Any horse which has competed at the track has been tattooed with a number on their inside of their upper lip. From the number, the Jockey Club can tell you what race the horse competed in, the date, finish, and wins.
“The tattoo is a tracking device. Kind of like papers for a purebred dog,” De Vescala explains.
Crean confirms she and the city don’t need a record to tell us what a wonderful asset Ice Cold Beer is to Key West.
Captain Budget ( ICB ) will be marking the Kentucky Derby with an appearance at the Little White House at 1 pm on Saturday, May 1.
• American Thoroughbred
• Purchased by Officer Alberto De Vescala’s Dad
• Place of Purchase: Ocala
• Color: Dark Bay w/White Star on Forehead
• Residence: Stables by PAL Gym
• Favorite Snack: Carrots
• Favorite Hang out: KWHS Football Games
• Dislikes: The Godfather