Big D

(2002 – )
Owned by Baltimore Police Department Mounted Unit
Inducted: 2019


Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography
Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography
"Larger than life" is the phrase that could be used to describe 'Big D' not only in stature but also in the size of his heart and his willingness to serve and protect his community. Big D, also known as 'Dino,' is an integral member of the Baltimore Police Mounted Unit in Baltimore, Maryland, serving as a peacekeeper and Belgian Draft gelding is the beloved partner of Sergeant Russell Robar and together the pair has developed a tight knit bond since their partnership began in 2016.

Big D is a wonderful example of a horse who found a meaningful second career. "Dino's our alpha lead horse and a no-nonsense workhorse," Robar said. Dino and most of the unit's horses came from Amish farms and were retired after years of pulling plows and farm wagons. "The children on the Amish farms would be climbing all over them. They're used to people," Robar said. "These horses are well suited for the routine patrols of city streets and their crowd control duties."

Dino's name not only represents his large size, but more importantly it serves as a way to honor fallen officer Forrest Edward "Dino" Taylor, who passed away in 2012 while serving in the line of duty.

As the leader of the Baltimore Police Mounted Unit, Sergeant Robar is responsible for ensuring that the unit continues to serve as a positive and efficient force in Maryland and relies heavily on his four-legged partner to get the job done and keep the community safe at all times.

Each year, Dino and Sergeant Robar lead their unit in over 170 community activities and service events. The pair demonstrates the values of honor and service at every moment of their day whether it is back at the stables, patrolling the streets, helping with crowd control, or teaching Baltimore's youth about the importance of serving the community.

In 2018, the pair was honored for their contributions and long-standing commitment to the community by receiving the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor & Service during the show's annual Military Night.

Sponsored by the EQUUS Foundation and The Stephens Family, the WIHS Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor & Service is presented annually to a horse, individual, or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by 'Klinger,' a special horse who has touched the lives of many in his life of service with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Caisson Platoon. Klinger was among the first Hall of Fame inductees.

Currently stabled downtown, the unit is scheduled to get a new home with an initiative underway to build a first-rate equestrian facility on the property of the B&O Railroad Museum. The "First Mile Stable" aptly named as it will reside along the first mile of track ever laid in the country The facility, which will include classroom and exhibition spaces for learning opportunities, will not only house the Baltimore Police Mounted Unit's horses but also help bridge the gap between the Baltimore City Police and the people of Baltimore.

The interactive learning site will provide visitors with an immersive educational experience with planned programs, activities, and demonstrations to build positive interaction between the community and Baltimore City Police officers - both two and four-legged.

Between Dino's continued service on the streets of Baltimore under the guidance of Sergeant Robar and the opportunities for Dino to educate citizens at his future new residence, Dino will continue to make a positive impact on the city and its people. Dino's big heart and invaluable contributions to his community certainly make him a worthy inductee of the Horse Stars Hall of Fame.