Therapy Horse Choco Celebrates Retirement with OC Firefighters


Back on July 5, 2021, therapy horse Choco was rescued by the Orange County Fire Department after being stranded on a trail in San Juan Capistrano.

Two years later, Choco officially retired. A celebration was held on Friday 7th July with old friends from OCFA.

Choco has been actively involved in care services at the JF Shea Therapeutic Riding Center for the past five years.

“Firefighters from Station 56, including Captain Danny Goodwin, who led Choco’s rescue, arrived in a large rescue truck and parked in the arena decorated with fun retirement signs and banners,” said a Shea Center spokeswoman. Sarah Booth said.

“Choco loved all the special attention, treats and pets, and groups and individuals took turns taking pictures with Choco and the fire truck,” Booth continued.

OCFA and the Shea Center have partnered on a training program to develop urban search and rescue tactics for horses following Choco’s helicopter rescue.

Booth said Choco’s retirement ceremony was a “huge success” and that “everyone had a great time celebrating the horse.”

“We wish him the best of luck as he retires to Rock Hills Ranch in Fallbrook, Calif., where he joins former shea therapy horses Hope and Gonzo,” Booth said.

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