Seven police horses will be rehomed following the news that Nottinghamshire Police is disbanding its mounted branch.

The force announced on 26 June that, due to “financial pressures“, it had been forced to close the unit.

Plans are for four horses to be sold to private homes, while three will go to other forces.

This will leave 15 forces with mounted branches in the UK.

Nottinghamshire Police must reduce its annual costs by more than £42million by 2015.

It estimates that cutting the horses will save £93,000 a year.

Jon Collins, chairman of Nottinghamshire Police Authority, said: “The mounted section has played a huge part in modern policing over the years and is regarded with great affection.

“We are pleased that there are plans to rehome the horses with new owners who can provide them with the best possible care, whether this is in retirement or in another force.”

Acting Chief Constable Chris Eyre added: “The force is one of very few in England and Wales that retains a mounted section.

“Although its work is important, it is not used frequently.

Redeploying the staff to front-line duties will strengthen our local policing presence.”

The section will remain in place until the end of the London Olympics, as the horses and officers will be working there. After that, the horses will be sold or rehomed.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (5 July 2012)