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Great sadness as Pern, the North East’s local hero, is put to sleep

Stunning 17hh chestnut Pern retired to The Horse Trust in February 2012 after spending 16 years with Northumbria Police.  Sadly, due to the effects of unmanageable arthritic pain he was to enjoy only a couple of years of his well-earned retirement after years of loyal service.

Pern, a true gentleman, who adored attention, had fulfilled the full gamut of Police duties during his long career, could no longer be kept comfortable and in his best interests the decision was taken to let him go with dignity.

In addition to policing football matches, daily patrols and public order duties Pern had appeared in high profile state occasions including HM The Queens 80th birthday celebrations and innumerable Remembrance Day events during his years of service. To everyone at The Horse Trust it seemed he had developed a liking for the camera during his career. He had an uncanny knack of making it into the picture whenever a camera crew visited The Trust and appears on TV on several occasions.

When he retired on February 13th 2012 he was described as a fantastic police horse who would be sadly missed by everyone at the Mounted Section of Northumbrian police.  Sgt Andy Cross said  “He thoroughly enjoyed his job and just came alive when he went to work. As soon as he went out on patrol his ears would prick up. He is absolutely fearless and reliable and over the years he has been responsible for helping to train many of the younger, inexperienced horses.”   Sgt Cross added: “A police horse has a very demanding job and sadly Pern’s old bones can’t stand up to the rigours of 4 hours a day out patrolling anymore.  He has done amazingly well to last in a working environment for over 16 years.  He is definitely ready for retirement and it will be a well-earned rest, but he will be missed greatly.”

Those sentiments are echoed by everyone who came to know this wonderful horse. Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust said “Everyone at The Trust will miss Pern. His winning mixture of handsome good looks and adorable temperament melted hearts. He was a big and beautiful character and will be hugely missed. It is such a shame that after his years of public service he couldn’t enjoy a healthy retirement beyond the 2 happy years he spent with us and his new friends among our many retired police and army horses.

Pern was something of a local hero in the North East and when he became the first Northumbrian police horse retired to The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses he went on to become a firm favourite with visitors.

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