A police horse that appeared to be punched by a football fan is “totally fine” after the incident and will be back on duty soon.

Bud, who is a police horse for the West Yorkshire mounted branch, is recovering after being caught up in violence following a football match at St James’ Park on Sunday (14 April).

Newcastle fans set upon rivals Sunderland, after their team was beaten 3-0 at home. More than 100 football supporters rampaged through the streets throwing bottles and bricks. Three police officers were reportedly injured, and video footage that seemed to show a fan attacking Bud, caused outrage online.

A man was arrested on suspicion of attacking the horse, but was later bailed pending further inquires.

Twenty-nine fans were arrested during the violence.

“We are pleased to say that Bud is totally fine and resting up after Sunday’s eventful operation in Newcastle,” said Inspector Trevor Thackray of West Yorkshire Police’s mounted section.

“Our police horses are used to dealing with all types of disorder, so, while the images on the news may have looked shocking, Bud wasn’t hurt and his regular training ensures that he his acclimatised to this type of situation”.