Nfld. & Labrador

How do you weigh a horse? With an industrial scale, of course

The RNC has a longtime partnership with A. Harvey at St. John's harbour.

RNC has longtime partnership with A. Harvey — and its scale — at St. John's harbour

Castle the horse trots on a scale to get weighed. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

When you weigh several hundred kilograms no ordinary scale will do. That's why the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary trots their horse officers dockside.

In the shadows of massive vessels along St. John's harbour, there are crates, heavy machinery and Castle, a four-year-old Clydesdale, and RNC Const. Jason Coombs. 

Castle and the other RNC horses are weighed every so often on the truck weigh scales at A. Harvey, an industrial company, on the waterfront.

Const. James Cadigan said it's important measure of a horse's health.

"Is he at the weight he should be at? Is there a different care process we need to consider to ensure he's the proper weight, healthwise?" he said.

"It's just about taking care of our horses."

RNC horse Castle and Const. Jason Coombs. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

Coombs isn't sure exactly when they started using the truck scales at A. Harvey but it was before 2008.

The officers usually take the horses down on weekends, when the dock is less busy.

A. Harvey is so invested in the horses that the owners donated a police horse — aptly named "Harvey" — to the RNC.

"These horses are part of our image on the streets of St. John's and to have this partnership is fantastic."

And the final weigh-in?

"He's around 1,450 pounds," Coombs said. "That's a fantastic weight for a four-year-old horse."

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About the Author

Ariana Kelland is a reporter with the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador bureau in St. John's.