A moustachioed police offer stands next to a horse with a blonde moustache in a barn
Mo Bros Kris McCarthy & DraperImage by: Max Rosenstein
A moustachioed police offer stands next to a horse with a blonde moustache in a barn
23 November 2022

Kris’ Story: The Man Behind the Moustachioed Horse

Kris McCarthy
3 minutes read time

I’ve been growing a Mo and getting involved with Movember since it started here in Canada – however long ago that was. To be honest, it started because I liked the fun of it. It gave me a great excuse to look ridiculous with a moustache. As time went on, I really started to understand what the mission was all about – to stop men from dying too young.

While there’s tons of fun in wearing a fancy moustache, it’s about starting those conversations about men’s cancers and mental health and suicide prevention – bringing that recognition publicly.

I’ve been in the service for over 25 years. So, I think in my line of work, being a first responder, PTSD would be the first and foremost on police officers’ minds. I’ve noticed that during the pandemic and even now, the state of people’s mental wellbeing has changed. It’s been a trying time for everybody, and it’s all sort of coming to the surface now, with the level of depression and anxiety I’m seeing in society. Reading the alarming stat that 3 out of 4 deaths by suicide are by men really puts it all into perspective.

For the last two years, I’ve been participating in Movember alongside the Toronto Police Service as part of Team Follicle Force. But last year was the first year we got Draper involved. He felt like a breath of fresh air – a new twist on the whole conversation, and on the Mo. Everyone on the service and in the public were paying attention to the horse with a moustache.

When we first start with a horse, we work with them on a two-week trial, usually wandering around the barn or the community nearby. Within those first two weeks, people were just completely dumbfounded by this horse’s beautiful moustache. That’s when I first noticed the attention Draper was getting. I’ve ridden horses for twenty-three years of my life, and I can ride the same horse down the same street every day, and people wouldn’t be able to say if it had been the same horse or not. They just know it’s a horse with a police officer riding it.

But I’ve never seen anything like the community that came out and actually knew this horse’s name. It was like an episode of Cheers – where everyone knows Draper. As I kept witnessing this sort of attention, I kept thinking, “What a great way to promote Movember!” Since bringing Draper on to Team Follicle Force, we’ve started so many conversations about Movember and what they’re doing to change the face of men’s health. This mission is something the service really stands behind, with a focus on promoting wellbeing for everyone and reducing those statistics that unfortunately come with the job of being a first responder.

The conversations that I hope to start come from me trying to make myself available. My phone is always on for any of my friends, colleagues, family, or whoever may need to chat. While I’m kind of a hypocrite in this way, I hope the change that Movember brings to men’s lives is that men begin to value their health as much as they would one of their loved ones. To put themselves in the same category as a loved one, a family member or friend, and go to the doctor or speak to someone if and when they may need it.

While many of the conversations Draper’s moustache starts are about horses (Do all horses have moustaches?!), it’s definitely started that line of communication. He keeps that moustache on so we can talk about Movember and men’s health – an incredible ambassador to not only the service, the city, but the Movember community as well.

Support Kris and Draper’s efforts to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.