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Imperial County

Special Report: Riding with the Border Patrol’s horseback unit


CBS 13's Alexandra Rangel saddles up with agents to experience their four-legged approach to enforcement

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - It takes a very special team to patrol the U.S. border in hard to reach places in the El Centro Sector. That team includes some four-legged members.

The Sector uses its horse patrol unit to access areas vehicles can't got. It consists of thirteen American wild mustangs and one-quarter horse.

Border Patrol tames and trains the mustangs for search and rescue missions along the 70 miles of border in the El Centro region.

"The horses are very effective, often times more effective than a vehicle especially in rough dangerous terrain. The horses are able to get to places that a vehicle cannot," said Gregory K. Bovino, El Centro Sector Chief.

Border Protrol's use of horses goes way back in history, all the way to the 1920s.

“The United States Border Patrol actually started on horseback. It was the most common means of transportation, back in 1924," said Cesar Gomez, El Centro Sector agent.

Border Patrol provided the oats and hay for horses, but agents furnished their own horse and saddle.

Eventually, vehicles phased horses out, but in recent years horse patrols are becoming more popular.

Thursday in a 13 On Your Side exclusive, Alexandra Rangel shows you first-hand how the border patrol’s horse unit is making a comeback in the El Centro Sector.

Immigration / Special Reports / Top Stories
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Alexandra Rangel

Alexandra Rangel joined KSWT in March 2019 as a multimedia journalist.

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