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Goodnight, PH Parker

We are sorrowful to announce the passing of retired Greater Manchester Police Horse Parker at the age of 22.

Parker, affectionately also known as Piggy due to his high pitched, squealing whinny, spent over half of his life serving his community as part of the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) mounted unit. Initially given to GMP in 2012 on loan for 5 years from his owner, Parker was an instant hit with the officers and public alike, due to his cheeky nature and eccentric, one of a kind squeal. After these 5 years, he was returned to his owner but it was clear ‘civilian’ life was no longer for him, and after a mere 2 weeks he was gifted to GMP’s mounted unit as a permanent police horse. Despite being the smallest horse at the mounted unit, he made up for it in bravery and character. From the start of his career, it was obvious he was born to be a police horse and loved his job. Parker led an exceptional career, being involved in most, if not all, of the notable events that have occurred within GMP over the past decade. He served the city of Manchester for all the major football tournaments, Manchester derbies, homecoming parades and big Euro games. He has led masses of European football fans in walk downs from the city centre to Old Trafford and the Etihad, on occasion with industrial fireworks crackling behind him!

Parker was one of the most loved and recognised horses at the GMP mounted unit. Full of character and charm, Parker had been known to steal chips from the forks of many a football fan when they came too close bearing food and regularly liked to check people’s pockets for any forgotten sweets.

On retirement, Greater Manchester Police thanked Parker for his exceptional service and said “Our cheeky, loving, steadfast, brave boy Parker. No quote rings more true than the words ‘horse of a lifetime’ when it comes to you. Not many horses have this kind of impact on people. There will NEVER be another Parker, ever.”

Parker retired to The Horse Trust in September 2022 at the age of 20 due to arthritis that meant he could no longer cope with the requirements of his role. He settled straight into retired life and very much enjoyed rolling in the mud and grazing alongside his field companions. Last winter, Parker sustained an eye injury for which he had cutting edge treatment, including trialling a contact lens to protect his eye. Whilst this treatment was a success, unfortunately Parker’s arthritis continued to deteriorate and his stiffness was noted to be worsening by our wonderful grooms who keep such a close eye on all our residents. The level of stiffness Parker was exhibiting despite his daily pain relief was a serious concern for his quality of life. Therefore, after evaluation, we made the sad decision to put Parker to sleep, giving him the dignified end that all those equines who have served the community so bravely deserve.

A wonderful horse full of zeal and charm with an amazing legacy working for Greater Manchester police, Parker, you were an utter sweetheart, one of the friendliest we’ve ever had and we are proud to have cared for you in your final years. Goodnight, PH Parker. HTx

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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