Omaha officer’s memorial at Horsemen’s Park finds a stable home

Now the life-size statue rests in the paddock while details are worked out on carefully moving it to the home of the officer’s widow.
Heroes are remembered in different ways.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 11:10 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Heroes are remembered in different ways.

An Omaha police officer who died unexpectedly several years ago had a unique memorial made in his honor but the tribute stood in the way of progress.

A tribute to Officer Torrey Gully stood tall for several years near an entrance to Horseman’s Park main building.

“I think they should leave it right where it’s at.”

But the horse statue had to move along with a new casino in the starting gate and auctioneer Tom Rine thought it deserved better than the auction block.

“The family originally wanted it at one time, but we can’t get ahold of them,” said Rine.

6 News located Mia Gully to tell her that the special memorial for her late husband is a gift from the racetrack.

“Just to be able to look at there and see that horse and know it’s a part of our family instead of being tossed away because they’re building a casino is very important to us,” said Gully.

A nearly 10-year veteran of the Omaha Police Patrol Division 42-year-old Torrey died suddenly of a heart attack during a gym workout in 2013.

“He’s always in our memory, we talk about him all the time as you can see pictures still up of him,” said Gully.

Local artist Glenda Musilek hand painted the fiberglass equine as part of a tribute to fallen heroes called horses of honor. In 2016 the herd was sold to raise money for the Omaha Police Foundation. Horseman’s Park bought Torrey’s hero horse where it greeted race fans until last week.

“We want to be a good steward and we are thrilled we got to use the horse for a number of years to grace our front entrance,” said Lori Thomas, manager of Horseman’s Park.

Now the life-size statue rests in the paddock while details are worked out on carefully moving it to the home of the officer’s widow.

“When I heard how much it meant to her, I thought ‘oh goodness I’m so glad we took the extra effort and so glad we were able to connect with you to get this done,’” said Thomas.

The horse carries more than a hero’s likeness.

Here’s another reason why the wife of the officer is touched by getting this memorial to her late husband. The three fingerprints are of her and her family.

“That’s my fingerprint Taleah’s and Torreyanna’s. His heart in there and our fingerprints are close to our heart it’s very sentimental,” said Gully.

Mia has a spot picked out in her backyard where the memorial to her late husband will stand.

“To open my patio door and look out that window, let the floodgates open,” said Gully.

The Horsemen’s Park staff is busy this weekend with the Breeder’s Cup.

But after that, they will work on a plan for transporting and setting up the horse statue at the home of the officer’s widow. The artist who painted it tells mike she wants to help.