Back on July 5, 2021, therapy horse Choco was rescued by the Orange County Fire Authority after getting stuck in a San Juan Capistrano trail.
Two years later, Choco officially retired—with his old OCFA friends on hand Friday, July 7, to celebrate.
Choco has been active in care services at the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center for the past five years.
“Station 56 firefighters, including Captain Danny Goodwin who led Choco’s rescue, arrived in their heavy rescue truck which pulled up to the arena which was decorated with fun retirement signs and banners,” Shea Center spokesperson Sarah Booth said.
“Choco loved all the extra attention, treats, and pets, as groups and individuals took turns posing for pictures with him and the fire truck,” Booth continued.
OCFA and the Shea Center have partnered on a training program to develop equine urban search and rescue tactics after Choco’s helicopter rescue.
Booth said Choco’s retirement ceremony was a “great success” where “everyone had a wonderful time celebrating” the horse.
“We wish him all the best as he retires to Rock Hills Ranch in Fallbrook, California, where he will be joining former Shea therapy horses Hope and Gonzo,” Booth said.