By Nicole Breskin
CHELSEA — After city officials congratulated police and fire officials for preventing a car bomb explosion in Times Square, there was only one first responder left to thank — Miggs, the "bomb-proof horse."
Miggs, the trusty steed of mounted officer Wayne Rhatigan, who began the evacuation of the tourist haven after a T-shirt vendor alerted him to the smoking Nissan Pathfinder packed with explosives, was honored with carrots, apples and a variety of cupcakes for his role in the effort.
“Usually horses are afraid and run when there’s smoke,” Rhatigan told DNAinfo. “But Miggs did what he was supposed to do.
“He’s proven to be a bomb-proof horse,” he said, as stocky 15-year-old Miggs lapped up two carrots leaving a trail of orange foam around his mouth.
“His regular food is grains and carrots,” said Rhatigan. “But he loves cupcakes and pizza.”
Rhatigan joked he might have to put Miggs on a diet after his feast, but he said the treats were well-deserved.
For his part, Rhatigan, 46, got a plaque and a city proclamation from City Counsel Speaker Christine Quinn and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at Pier 76 in Chelsea on Wednesday. His partner, Pam Duffy, also was honored.
“The horses are so well trained,” Quinn said, after she gave Miggs a good scratch on his nose. “They not only stood there next to a car on fire, [officers] were able to ride them and deal with the situation and keep the horses calm and that’s a real credit to the team here.”
NYPD’s Bomb Squad and their bomb-sniffing dogs were also honored in Greenwich Village on Wednesday, with the dogs treated to cookie biscuits.
Miggs was named after a fallen Staten Island police officer.
Rhatigan, a 19-year veteran of the police force, has rode Miggs for the entire five years he's been in the mounted unit.
“He is nice and mellow,” said Rhatigan, beaming with Miggs standing by his side. “He’s the only one I want to work with."