It has been a very difficult time for us here at The Horse Trust and we are devastated that we must share this news with you. It is with great sadness that we had to say our final goodbyes to our lovely Clyde at the age of 29. Almost 9 years ago, in December 2011, we had the great pleasure of welcoming Clyde to The Horse Trust. After an impressive 17 years serving as a police horse in the Thames Valley Mounted Section (TVP), Clyde made his final journey to retirement at 21. Goodnight Clyde.
In his working career, Clyde was an outstanding horse who carried out all policing duties to the highest of standards. Officers described him as “one of the bravest police horses Thames Valley Police has even known”. His remarkable and courageous attitude did not go unnoticed as in June 2011, just before he retired, Clyde received a Chief Constable’s Commendation. The award was presented to him at Royal Ascot by Her Majesty The Queen and the Chief Constable of TVP, where he had worked most of his 17 years as the Sergeant’s lead horse. This was an important and vital job, protecting the Royal carriage procession from the nearside rails as it went up the course. Only the most experienced of horses were given this duty, and Clyde was one who performed it well for many of years. Sergeant John Thurston of TVP commented at the time “as this will be Clyde’s final tour of duty, we felt it was an appropriate occasion to present him with a commendation.” As well as his duties at Royal Ascot, Clyde had also been one of the head horses for numerous state visits at Windsor and for leading the Royal procession into the area at Windsor for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Clyde was also involved in policing the environmental protests at Newbury by-pass, football matches at Reading, Oxford, High Wycombe, Luton, Southampton, Northampton, Cardiff, Swansea, Swindon and of particular note in 1996 at Portsmouth, where Clyde received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for dealing with extremely violent disorder at the match. We are sure you can tell by reading this, Clyde was an exceptional horse who was sorely missed by all who knew and had the pleasure of riding him during his lengthy career at TVP. Officers said, “Clyde had a fantastic character and could chew his way through absolutely anything!!” It is safe to say, that neither of those things changed once settled in with us at The Horse Trust.
Clyde loved his retirement and liked nothing more than frolicking around the field with old friends. On arrival it was clear that everything TVP had told was true, Clyde was a gentleman and not forgetting tall, dark and handsome too. Standing at 16.3hh and being a Thoroughbred-Clydesdale X, he really did have an amazing presence about him with the personality to match. Clyde was generally a laid-back old chap but occasionally would think he was a 4-year-old again until he realised it was far too much energy! We can also not forget how photogenic Clyde was, as very often we would receive so many gorgeous pictures of him from the grooms. Well it makes sense as being one of the main escorts for HM The Queen for 17 years, you probably would get used to being in the limelight of the camera! Clyde made a lasting impression to all who met him and in later years became a huge hit with all our visitors as he started to come into the stables for opening hours. He absolutely loved the attention and rummaging in people’s pockets to see if they had anything tasty. We are so pleased than even in his later years, Clyde brought so many smiles to visitors faces as much as they did him.
Through the winter, Clyde had suffered with a variety of ailments, including a severe dental infection which resulted in him losing a lot of weight on top his pre-existing lameness issues. Although he started to gain weight and condition with his extra feeds and spring grass, he recently became ill again. Blood results and scans showed that he had a severe small intestinal disease, which was likely to progress meaning he would deteriorate through the summer. The heart-breaking decision was made for Clyde’s well-being that it was time to say our final goodbyes. We knew with the illness he had, Clyde would soon worsen again and that is not what we wanted for him. We owed it to our lovely Clyde that his last 24 hours were happy and comfortable surrounded by a team who loved him very much.
Goodnight Clyde, it has been our absolute honour and we are tremendously proud to have been able to give a hero like you the retirement you fully deserved. A hole has been left in all our hearts and we cannot even begin to imagine not seeing your face every morning trotting up the field with your best buddy Union. Right now, we feel devastated to have lost such a big character, but we will cherish every moment and not forget the happiness you brought to our Horse Trust family. Your duty is done buddy, now journey well and rest easy in paradise.
Read more about Clyde.
Here at The Horse Trust we have been, again, left completely heartbroken. We are absolutely devastated to share the news with you that we had to say our final farewells to the beautiful Cumbria at the age of 25.
We have had the absolute pleasure of having Cumbria with us for nearly 9 years, after she retired from Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch (MET) in December 2011. After a wonderful 12 years’ service, Cumbria made her way from her former home in London to the Chiltern Hills at the age of 16. This was the start of a long and happy retirement for our beloved Cumbria.
Cumbria had a colourful career starting her work as an operational horse patrolling the streets of London. Unfortunately, in 2002 she retired from her operational duties after becoming nervous in traffic, meaning the role was no longer suited to her. The MET knew they had a cracking little horse on their team and wanted to find Cumbria a post where she enjoyed her work. The decision was made to appoint Cumbria to Imber Court as a school mistress teaching Police Officers to ride, some of which may never had even touched a horse before. Imber Court is the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch’s Training Establishment which has fantastic facilities for the training of both horses and officers. It is clear to say from that point forward, Cumbria found her niche in life and the beginning of a new journey! Even though Cumbria’s job was no longer on the front line, her role was extremely important teaching Officers of all stages the ins and outs of riding and equine management. Due to her kind, calm and placid nature, Cumbria was a huge favourite with all who met and had the pleasure of riding her. It was said that Cumbria’s all-time favourite was show-jumping where she provided lots of fun, as well as experience for many officers. When it came to Cumbria retiring, it was obvious to hear she was a fantastic horse and friend who would be thoroughly missed by all.
On arrival at The Horse Trust we were blown away by such a beauty who came trotting down the ramp with such elegance and grace! Straight away we could completely understand why she was so popular and loved at the MET, as she pretty much stole our hearts instantly. It did not take long for Cumbria to settle into retired life, as if she knew she had totally earnt it… You can see where she quickly got the name ‘Queen B’! Not only was she known for a being a bit of a princess, but you could always rely on Cumbria to keep the mare’s field in check. This lady was also best known for keeping us on our toes too when it came to frequent visits from the vet! Cumbria was always giving us scares with various illnesses and injuries. In 2017, she made a miracle recovery from a ruptured ligament in her hind leg. There were many talks in the past between the team wondering if it was best to just cover her all in bubble wrap! Although incredibly sweet, Cumbria did occasionally show her us glimmers of her extraordinary temper…..or in other words, made it very clear when she did not want to do something! But most importantly, she was known as the horse who loved life and was adored by all around her.
Cumbria has suffered from multiple lameness issue in her back legs for several years. We have managed successfully to keep Cumbria comfortable and happy on pain killers but unfortunately, the hard ground that has come with spring has increased her discomfort. Sadly, we had just come to a point where we could no longer keep Cumbria pain free despite our very best efforts. The hard decision was made that it was time to say our final goodbyes. Cumbria spent her last days being thoroughly spoilt and treated like the Queen B she really was.
Cumbria, we are so proud to of given you your well-deserved retirement. You have been part of our Horse Trust family for many years and have left an empty hole in our lives and hearts which will never be filled. We will cherish all the memories we shared with you over the last 9 years and they will certainly never be forgotten. Run free now sweet girl, we promise there are lots of your old buddies waiting for you in paradise. Sleep tight, our Queen B.
It is a very difficult time for us all at the moment but sadly it has been made even harder this week. We are devastated to bring you the news of the passing of our lovely Pandora at the age of 28.
Pandora, affectionately known as Dora to all her friends, arrived at The Horse Trust in September 2012. Dora was one of our well-known welfare admissions with a traumatic story to tell. Poor Dora was found starving, abandoned and in a terrible condition. To add to the distress, it was also clear that she had recently given birth, but sadly the foal was nowhere to be found. Thankfully, Dora’s suffering was brought to an end when she was rescued in a joint operation by the RSPCA and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards. When Dora arrived at The Horse Trust it was clear to see she was emaciated, suffering with a worm infestation and an infection that needed immediate veterinary attention. Through all of this, one thing that was apparent was Dora’s sweet nature. Seeing such a vulnerable and kind mare made the situation even more difficult – knowing she was left to fend for herself in her twilight years. Luckily, Dora’s initial response to veterinary treatment was encouraging but we still held our breath and kept our fingers crossed. Being an older lady, Dora’s road to recovery was slightly longer and bumpier than most but with the fantastic care of team HT and the vets, Dora regained full health. The before and after pictures of Dora are remarkable and unbelievable. You just could not believe the horse we once saw on arrival looking so ill and more or less ‘given up’ on life was the same one we saw in recent years, healthily and happily grazing with all her pals on the Chiltern hills.
In the last 8 years, Dora had been nothing but a pleasure in every way! A true, gentle soul who loved nothing more than people and attention. It fills our hearts with joy to know that whatever happened in her past, she spent her last years a very happy girl who was adored by us all. Dora was a laid-back character who enjoyed all things whether it was having a groom or being body painted at the 2014 Horses, Hounds and Heroes event. Dora was used for educational purposes of having the equine’s bones painted on her and we’re sure you can see, she made the perfect model!
For the last couple of years unfortunately, Dora had suffered with lameness issues. In recent times she had become uncomfortable and despite treatment for her pain from the veterinary and farrier team, she deteriorated. With the summer on its way bringing the harder ground, we know her condition would have continued to worsen. The heart-breaking decision was made, and it was time to say our final good-byes to Dora, laying to her to rest, free from pain.
There are no more words we can use or say to describe how beautiful Dora was inside and out. She captured the hearts of not only us but so many people who heard her story. Whatever the backgrounds of our horses, whether they are police, military, RDA, or rescue, they are all our heroes. Dora, you are our hero for learning to love us even when people did not show you the same and we are so grateful to have had so many years and happy memories to remember you by. Even if they were just the cuddles and kisses that you liked the most! You were a soppy girl with a heart of gold. Rest easy now Pandora, we will never forget you.
Find out more about Pandora (Dora) here.