Darwen joined the Lancashire Mounted Branch as a 7 year old where he served the Constabulary fantastically, for 13 years.
He is a gentle horse who can be a little nervous and likes to build up trust with his handler before he gives them his love and affection! Darwen was said to be unique as he was the only horse at the branch who didn’t like apples! He was said to be a steady police horse who wasn’t fazed by large crowds.
Darwen was always dependable and was recognised as the officers ‘go to horse’. Whenever there was a disturbance on patrol or at football matches, Darwen was always at the fore! Due to his reliability, Darwen went to all of Lancashire’s high-profile football matches. He also travelled the country assisting in larger football matches and events and even participated in European football matches in Manchester against Feyenoord and St Etienne as well as England vs Turkey at the Etihad Stadium.
Darwen is an agile horse and was used for training officers in troop drills and jumping in the riding school. He helped many riders on their initial courses and with their continuous training. Darwen has been involved in many ceremonial occasions including the Lancaster Shield Hanging, Remembrance Sunday Parades and numerous funerals. He also attended WHW Penny Farm Charity rides and demonstrations. He even participated in the Lancashire Police HQ Open days where 10,000 members of the public came to watch the musical ride and the public order demonstration.
Darwen was one of the long-standing members of the Branch and made many friends along the way. Officers have many fond memories of Darwen and many have learned to ride on him. One officer said “He will be a massive loss to the Branch but we know he will have a wonderful retirement and after 13 year’s service, I can’t imagine a horse that deserves it more!”