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Remembering those we lost in February

Here at the Home of Rest we are privileged to give some of the most courageous and kind-hearted horses in the country the best retirement possible and continue to tell their stories despite them hanging up their bridles, saddles or harnesses. Traditionally, by the age of 16 a horse can be considered ‘geriatric’  and around 70% of horses beyond the age of 20 require some form of specialist veterinary care. The average age of our beautiful herd here at The Horse Trust is around 20 years old, so the vast majority of our residents are coming to the time in their life that they need extra help and for each horse this care will look different. This is why your support is so crucial to the work we do, as this individualised and specialist care for each of our 125+ horses takes a lot of resources.

Much of the care we provide is similar to that of a hospice, managing conditions that are either incurable, recurring or degenerative in nature to allow these wonderful equine public servants a comfortable retirement until they are ready to leave us for their final journey across the rainbow bridge.

Sadly, especially during the colder months, these chronic conditions often worsen for our older residents or those suffering from more complex veterinary conditions, which is why you may notice that we lose more of our equine residents during this period. We do absolutely everything possible to manage our horses’ health conditions and our amazing veterinary surgeon gives all our residents the best care but ultimately we acknowledge that there comes a time when it is unfair to continue treatment and it is in their best interest to allow them a dignified end to avoid any unnecessary suffering. We want to shine a light on each herd member we lose, giving them the recognition and kudos they deserve for a final time and to let you know as our supporters of their passing.

In memory of those we have lost – February 2024


Normandy retired from the Metropolitan Police in 2020 due to lameness issues relating to a previously rehabilitated injury. A stunning all black Oldenberger also known as Nobby around the yard, he was often making us laugh with his funny faces, inquisitive attitude and tiny wispy forelock. He loved satsumas as a cheeky treat when he could convince the grooms to provide them! The injury that caused his retirement continued to be painful for Normandy. It became clear that he would never fully heal despite amazing treatment and a recuperation plan, meaning the kindest thing to do was to say goodbye to Nobby at 21 years of age.


Former Essex Police horse Patrick retired to us in 2012 due to lameness issues. He was a beautiful bay Czech Warmblood and his official Czech name was Sharon, which often caused many jokes, especially with Patrick coming to us from Essex! He had such a personable nature, always looking for a pat and scratch during daily checks here at The Horse Trust. Patrick had been suffering from hock arthritis which impeded his ability to get about comfortably and more recently he began to struggle to get up after lying down and the kindest thing to do was to put Patrick to sleep. He was 26 years old when he crossed the rainbow bridge.


Copenhagen retired from The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in 2021 after 15 years incredible service. A sweet and amiable horse, Copie, as he was affectionately known by us here at The Horse Trust, spent much of his time out in the fields enjoying quietly grazing with his fellow retirees. Copenhagen suffered from canker, a condition of the hoof which would usually resolve with treatment but this case continually recurred, possibly indicating a decline in his general health and immune system. Due to the pain the condition caused and the decrease in his quality of life when undergoing endless treatment, it was decided put Copie to sleep at the age of 25 years old.


Brave Huntsman retired in 2017 after serving with both the Metropolitan and Gloucester Police. A wonderful police horse, he spent ten years in operational work, including policing the 2012 London Olympics and developing the Gloucestershire Mounted Police Section in his later years, which included patrolling with our dearly departed Boris in the early days of the force being established! Hunstman had been suffering for a while with various age-related issues which meant he was on daily pain relief medications to manage this. More recently he also developed a melanoma on his eye which was causing some discomfort and treatment prognosis was poor, especially considering he couldn’t take any more pain medications. Sadly, this meant that the best option to protect Huntsman’s welfare was for us to say goodbye to him at the grand old age of 26.


Harrison retired from Greater Manchester Police in 2014 due to his arthritis after 9 years of commendable service and came to live with us here at The Horse Trust. After a couple of years at our Home of Rest, Harrison went out on loan to receive loving one on one care in a private home for the rest of his days. Recently his loanees got in touch to let us know that Harrison had crossed the rainbow bridge in their loving care at the grand old age of 28.

Pollyanna (RDA)

Pollyanna retired to us from New Yatt Riding for the Disabled Association in 2017 and until recently was reigning as our oldest resident on paper (we can’t be sure how old some of our rescued residents are!). Due to this, she suffered from numerous age-related conditions, one of which being very poor dentition, which made it a constant struggle to maintain her weight year-round. She was a sweet and gentle pony who excelled in her career giving over 1600 rides and was much loved by her riders and coaches and we have been honoured to care for her in her twilight years. This year, it was clear that Pollyanna was no longer coping with her few remaining teeth and the kindest thing to do was to allow her to cross the rainbow bridge at 34 years of age.

As always, our hearts feel the pain of these losses but also the pride of giving these equine public servants the very best care in their retirement.

The Horse Trust relies on public donations to continue to provide a forever home to retired military, police, Royal Mews and working horses. If you would like to be part of our story you can find out how below.


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