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One of London’s Bravest horses takes a break from the barricades

Today, The Horse Trust welcomes two new arrivals from the Metropolitan Police to its Home of Rest for Horses in Buckinghamshire.  Police horse Chiswick was formally on active service at the Metropolitan Police’s Hyde Park stables, whilst Brigadier was based at their training establishment at Imber Court.

17.3hh Chiswick, whose stable name is Daniel, has come to the charity for 2 – 3 months respite, a service The Horse Trust has been providing for 125 years.  This versatile horse has carried out numerous duties during his 12 years service which have greatly varied in nature including being a member of The Royal Parks Operational Command Unit which ensures the parks remain free from disturbance and crime.

Chiswick has provided operational support during public order events such as controlling football crowds but his finest hour so far was during the student riots in 2010 where he showed exceptional bravery jumping burning barricades. He has also undertaken many ceremonial escort roles and crime tasks withinLondonsuch as mounted escorts to the Queens Life Guard and changing of the Guard atBuckinghamPalace. His striking black colour and confident and brave nature has earned him the position of “Pointer” for the Black Escort which is used for any State Funerals where the Inspector of the Mounted Branch leads the procession.

Chiswick’s rider Police Office Mick Wass travelled with him to The Horse Trust and was very pleased he is being given a well earned break from his duties.  Mick said, “I can think of no better place for Chiswick to spend some down time than in the care of the staff at The Horse Trust.  I am really pleased he is being given this chance of a holiday and is being rewarded for the long service he has given over many years.”

19 year old Brigadier, who stands at a much smaller 16hh is a bay gelding and has served the force for 14 years.  AtImber Court, Brigadier helped to train police horses and riders to ensure they were equipped to deal with the rigours of policing the capital. Like Chiswick, Brigadier has been involved in the full range of police work such as policing Notting Hill Carnival and football matches at Wembley Stadium. He has been retired to The Horse Trust as he can no longer be ridden due to degenerative changes in his hock joints.

Shirley Abbott, Yard Manager at The Horse Trust said, “We are thrilled to provide a well earned rest for such a brave horse as Chiswick and also a permanent, gentle retirement for Brigadier after his many years of faithful service, and who will need special care and medication as he suffers from Cushings Disease as well as his arthritis.

On the same day Verdun and Alderman have returned to work at the Mounted Section, after relaxing and recuperating for 9 months respite at The Horse Trust, in time to help police the Olympic Games. Jeanette Allen, CEO of The Trust said, “Whilst we welcome our new arrivals we will sincerely miss the two boys returning to work as they have become very special characters here. Verdun is a stunning and gentle creature who played the role of Black Beauty at the charity’s recent presentation to an audience of thousands at the London International Horse Show at Olympian December 2011 and Alderman, also known as Storming Norman, is a small horse with a huge personality.”

The Horse Trust depends on the support of the public to offer retirement to working horses. It costs the charity an average of £12 per day to look after each horse at the sanctuary, which includes the costs of grooms, forage, farriery and veterinary care.

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