Police horses injured in a riot outside Millwall football club last week are making good progress

Twenty-six injured police horses are making good progress following the riot last Thursday (2 May) when mounted officers tried to keep around 900 angry Millwall football fans away from Birmingham supporters.

The worst injures were suffered by Alamein, a 17hh dark bay gelding who severed an artery in his leg. He reared up when a thunder flash missile exploded underneath him and came down on a parked car.

“Alamein has got stitches in his leg and is being regularly attended by our vet,” said Sgt Phil Field at the mounted branch’s training centre, ImberCourt, Surrey. “All of the horses injured in the violence are making good progress.”

An absolute gentleman

Alamein, who is usually based at Great Scotland Yard stables, will be missed while he is out of action, according to leading hand Yvonne Bamber.

Alamein is an absolute gentleman and a great police horse,” says Yvonne. “He is very good at his job and totally adaptable. He has been in service with us for more than threeyears and turns his hand to any event.

He narrowly missed taking part in the Queen Mother’s funeral procession, because he was not dark enough – all the black horses were used – but he played an important role policing the route.

“He will be out of action for some weeks, but when he does return we expect he will be raring to go – he really loves the job.”

Rebuilding confidence

Alamein and the other horses involved in the violence will now undergo a series of public order training sessions at Hounslow, Middx, before returning to full duties.

“All the police horses have regular public order training sessions,” explains Yvonne. “Horses that have been in a particularly stressful event, such as the riot in Millwall, will have their confidence rebuilt in these training sessions before they return to public duties.”

The violence lasted more than an hour and was described by senior officers as some of the worst in recent years. It followed Millwall’s defeat by Birmingham, which meant the South London club would not be playing in the Premiership next season.

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