Meet Our Mounted Unit!

Vegas & Asst. Chief Kari Sasso


Vegas started at UWPD in 2005. He is a 2001 Appendix Quarter Horse gelding, meaning he is part Thoroughbred and part Quarter Horse.  His registered name is “Counting Coins,” but he’s well-known in our community as Vegas.

Vegas was a critical part of safety and security on the UW-Madison campus for the last 12 years – you probably saw him at Badger Football games or other large events in the community with big crowds. Crowd control was Vegas’ specialty – working his way through seas of people to ensure everyone’s safety. While Vegas took his work very seriously, he loved people and was one of the most gentle 1,300 pound creatures you’ve ever met.

In the summer of 2015, Vegas was diagnosed with Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Disease. It affected Vegas’ ability to use his hind legs, causing lots of pain. The disease is incurable – there were no treatment options for Vegas. He worked a few times in 2015 and 2016, but it was very evident to his rider, Asst. Chief Kari Sasso, that continuing to work was not an option for Vegas any longer.

With the expert care of the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, Vegas was put down on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. View photos from UWPD’s farewell and final salute to Vegas.