A mounted police horse who has helped protect The Queen and keep the peace in demonstrations and at football matches could be soon crowned a hero.

Albert, a 17-year-old Irish Draught horse, is the longest serving horse in the Thames Valley Police’s mounted section. And he has now been selected as a finalist in the RSPCA and Daily Mirror animal hero awards.

The horse has worked at football matches in Southampton, Reading, Brighton and Portsmouth. He also served at the 2012 Olympics Games, helping with searches round the lakes before the rowing competitions.

AlbertHomebred in Herefordshire, Albert grew too large for his owner – he stands at 17.2hh – and was bought by the police force due to his size and good temperament.

“He’s a really good horse,” said PC Kevin Simmons from the mounted section. “We are ecstatic that he has been named as a finalist.”

During an English Defence League (EDL) march in Brighton in 2012, Albert led his eight-horse team into the fray to push apart the EDL and anti-fascist protestors.

“We all got surrounded. People were grabbing us and bottles were bouncing off our helmets,” recalled PC Simmons.

“It was one of the most extreme situations that I have been in. All the horses, and especially Albert, did a great job.”

AlbertAlbert’s role in the incident and the many others during his 10-year career with the force, has earnt him a place as one of three finalists in the animal hero awards 2014.

The winner will be announced a ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel in London tomorrow (26 November).

As he gets older Albert has a few joint and stiffness problems so “is probably the next one to be retired, maybe in year or two,” added PC Simmons. “But he will go to a good home when he does and spend the rest of his days in the field grazing.”

The other two finalists are both dogs.

Fuzz who is with the Metropolitan Police was nominated for his bravery when he held onto armed robber while being struck on the head with a metal pole. The other contender is RAF recruit Herz who was the first mobile phone detection dog in Afganistan.

Albert


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