The longest serving police horse in Greater Manchester is retiring to The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses after 15 years of service.

Dickens, a 21-year-old chestnut Irish Thoroughbred cross, has been forced to retire after developed arthritis. Horses usually only serve in the force for eight to 10 years.

During his time with the police, he has dealt with all areas of police work including crowd control and patrolling crime hotspots.

Mima Manning, stable manager at Greater Manchester Police said: “Dickens is one of our toughest and bravest horses. He has a cheerful temperament and always goes to work with a smile on his face. He has given a lot to Greater Manchester.”

Also retiring alongside Dickens is eight-year-old 17hh skewbald gelding, Warwick. He has worked for Greater Manchester Police for four years however has developed a problem with his joints and can no longer carry out his duties.

Both horses move into their new home in Buckinghamshire on 14 February, where they will remain for the rest of their days.

“Dickens and Warwick have carried out vital police work in their time with Greater Manchester Police, helping preserve public order and reduce crime,” said The Horse Trust’s Jeanette Allen.

“We are glad that we are able to thank them for their loyal service by offering them sanctuary and a peaceful place to pass the last years of their lives.”

For more information visit: www.horsetrust.org.uk