It is with great sadness that we bring you the news of the passing of…
It is with immense sadness that The Horse Trust announces the passing of Mounted Police veteran, Boris at the age of 29.
Boris served with both the Metropolitan Police and Gloucester Police Mounted Branches. He was a truly inspiring horse who made a huge impact whilst in service. Boris joined the Met at four years old and after 20 years of service retired to The Horse Trust.
His rider Constable Paul Copeland described him as “as brave as they come, with a lovely calm nature and willingness to work.” Thanks to Boris’s courageous and fearless nature, was quickly selected to be part of the Royal Escort Mounted Police.
In 2014, Boris was awarded the PDSA award for his incredible courage during the 2011 London riots. Although small for a police horse, because he was so brave, he led the mounted unit into the heart of the Tottenham riots after a long day of patrolling football events. That day they were greeted by burning buildings, fallen debris, missiles being thrown at them and foot officers in danger. On arrival with Boris leading the way, the crowd began to back away and allowed foot officers to regain control. This astounding bravery gained Boris and the other horses the PDSA Order of Merit, the “animal OBE”.
Boris was once again recognised for his mounted police work in 2021 receiving a high honour as part of the ‘Animals in Policing Awards 2021’ for his exemplary service with Gloucestershire Constabulary.
In 2018, Boris retired to The Horse Trust in the presence of The Princess Royal. The Horse Trust was honoured to have provided him with a well-deserved retirement after all his years loyally serving our country. He enjoyed an incredibly peaceful retirement where his favourite ‘retirement’ pastimes were galloping around the pastures, rolling in the sand paddock, and grabbing a good tummy rub by one of his wonderful ‘carers’.
For several years Boris suffered with navicular and arthritis, which had been expertly managed by the team with medication, however as these conditions progressed it became clear that we were sadly unable to keep him happy and healthy. Therefore, we made the extremely heart-wrenching decision to say goodbye, accepting this was the right time for him.
Russell Pickin, Director of Equine Care for The Horse Trust, and former Mounted Branch Inspector for the Met Police remembers Boris as “the archetypal police horse who looked stunning, dealt bravely with any situation and gave many years of unwavering service to the Metropolitan Police and people of London.”
After all you have done for your community and those you served, we wish you peace, our brave and gallant Boris, you have touched the lives of all who knew you, both in your career and in your retirement. It has been both a joy and a privilege to serve you after your years of dedicated service and you will be sorely missed by everyone at The Horse Trust.
The Horse Trust relies on public donations to continue to give a forever home to retired military, police, Royal Mews and RDA horses and to care for neglected rescued horses. If you would like to be part of our story, please consider a donation today.