Missy Roetter recalls that time IMPD Mounted Patrol appeared on Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks”

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, you would expect Missy Roetter to have a soft spot in her heart for horses, and you would be right. Roetter grew up in Louisville, and enjoyed riding lessons since she was 3. “I did all the usual stuff from lessons to riding camp, to jockeying sale horses and competing in college.” She is currently a staff member of Traders Point Hunt and a polo player for the Hickory Hall polo club. She was educated in finance at the University of Louisville, and spent 20 years working in retail and sales. It was L.S. Ayers, whose Indianapolis store operated at the corner of Washington and Meridian Streets where Carson’s is located today, that brought her to Indianapolis in 1985.

Missy Roetter

Missy Roetter and Huey during a fox hunting session

With the promise of new job and career development, she would soon meet her husband Fred in the Ayres Tea Room while having a lunch with a mutual friend. Together they would begin developing a deep level of service and commitment to their new home.

“My husband was working for the city’s legal department. He wrote the contract for IMPD Mounted Patrol when they moved to their 10th street location,” says Roetter. The 10th street location was near where the canal terminates on its north end today. That location was the third temporary location for the Mounted Patrol after Mayor Goldsmith tore down a barn where Lucas Oil Stadium sits today. “That location on 10th street was small. “It was convenient for the officers to get Downtown, but not conducive for the unit,” she says.

“Fred was good friends with other [Mounted Horse Patrol Association] board members and they eventually got me on the board, too, and I just love it,” she says. Roetter’s husband would later become deputy prosecutor and city attorney during Mayor Stephen Goldsmith’s administration in the mid-to-late 90s.

Today Roetter is the Youth Director at Trinity Church and says her desire to continue serving with the Mounted Patrol comes from several reasons. “I have this deep down feeling to help public service and safety. I love horses and grew up with them in my life. It’s a great opportunity for people to understand all police officers aren’t bad. They’re super valuable, even when you don’t want them to be, because nothing moves a crowd like these guys. They can be extremely useful with an officer 5 feet above the ground. It’s a valuable

Missy remembers some of the earlier publicly that the unit experienced. There was the cover of an Indianapolis Woman magazine featuring the three female officers and their horses. Roetter also recalls Officer Lester Stevens and Lightning performing during a “stupid pet tricks” bit on The Late Show with David Letterman. “The horses then were more quarter horse than draft horse, and this one that Lester rode would do the Electric Slide,” says Roetter. 

That bit first appeared in 1996 and is currently available on YouTube. Also in the video are Officers Mary Allender, Karen Wheeler, and Jane Klutzky.

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