A man who attacked a police horse during a drugs raid in Norton, Teesside last summer has escaped going to jail.

Thomas Oliver taunted the officer yelling “Here’s Lester Piggot” before grabbing the horse’s reins during the raid on 4 August 2008 that was part of Operation Sabre — a crack down on crime and disorder.

Fifty-year-old Mr Oliver was in full view of the media and was caught on camera swearing at the officers and grabbing the reins of 18hh police horse Stranton.

Teeside Crown Court heard last week how Mr Oliver yelled at the mounted officer: “I could get that horse on the ground in two seconds”.

He then pulled on the horse’s reins with all his weight to try to pull the horse over.

During the raid one officer suffered a broken ankle and Mr Oliver tried to head butt another.

Mr Oliver already had an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) and was banned from several pubs in the area.

He has escaped jail but has been given an 18-month community order and was ordered by the court to attend the probation program Think First.

*Meanwhile in Orlando, Florida police horses Noble and Peanut were battered by a man outside a nightclub at 2.25am on 22 March.

Twenty-five-year-old Christopher Brown refused to get out of the street when ordered to by officers and began shoving both horses.

Police reported that he was then preparing to punch Noble when he was tackled to the ground and taken into custody.

Mr Brown was charged with two counts of battering a law-enforcement officer and one count of disorderly conduct.