Kilmarnock aka Killi began her career with Strathclyde Police in 2001 and latterly Police Scotland when all 8 Scottish police forces merged.
Kilmarnock was a firm favourite of both old and new recruits with the mounted department and was largely used as a supervisor’s mount throughout her career. Kilmarnock’s bravery meant that she took leading parades, policing football matches, concerts and public order duties in her stride. Kilmarnock also enjoyed policing the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and was a favourite among the local community because of her kind nature.
During her time Kilmarnock has participated in all police duties and has been an exceptional all-rounder. Highlights include G8 summit 2005 where she was the supervisor’s horse, Commonwealth Games, leading numerous parades and policing football matches. She has even been used on several occasions to lead the winning race horse into the winners enclosure at both the Scottish Grand National and the Ayr Gold Cup! She was an experienced horse that was often the Supervisor’s first choice but was also popular with new recruits and beginners carrying out their Standard Equitation Course helping them through their final assessments.
Kilmarnock made the newspaper headlines in February 2019 when she was seriously injured at Celtic’s Europa League clash with Valencia at Parkhead. Kilmarnock had a flare thrown at her by a football hooligan which fell between her legs and under her belly causing her to spook and fall. She sustained a serious injury to her hind leg. The consensus amongst the police attending the event was that the flare was thrown as a stupid act rather than one directly aimed at injuring Kilmarnock. Officers have said that Kilmarnock was extremely brave in the situation but unfortunately the offenders were wearing masks meaning the officers couldn’t identify them so there was no prosecution to the person who did this to her. Kilmarnock’s injury was so severe it was very touch and go to whether she would even make it to us at The Horse Trust as she was due to retire before the accident. Luckily, the injury healed enough that this lovely horse could come to us and she now enjoys a happy and well deserved retirement!