A rescue charity has paid tribute to a much-loved “gentle giant” police horse.

Beaufort, also known as “Dave”, had lived at HorseWorld for three years following his retirement from Avon & Somerset Constabulary in 2014.

The 17.2hh gelding was put down on Monday (13 March) aged 20, due to foot problems.

“Beaufort was a gentle giant and will be greatly missed by staff, volunteers and visitors,” said the charity’s yard manager, Sarah Hollister.

“He had had ongoing foot problems for some time and despite the very best veterinary care, we were no longer able to keep him pain free.”

He retired aged 17 as he had been finding the four-hour long shifts as a police horse “a bit much as he was getting older”.

During his time at the Bristol-based charity, Beaufort worked as part of the training team, helping to escort rehabilitated rescue horses.

“He would accompany inexperienced horses as a calming influence on the roads and when learning to accept new experiences,” added Ms Hollister.

“This workload was a fraction of what he was used to and so was a welcome break for him.

“More recently, he had fully retired and was living a peaceful and relaxed life out in the fields.”

Last year, Beaufort was reunited with his former “colleague” Redland — another police horse from Avon & Somerset Constabulary who retired to the charity in October.


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The Avon & Somerset mounted section has paid tribute to “big, bold and friendly” Beaufort on its Twitter page, while followers described him as a “magnificent gentle giant” and a “beautiful boy”.

“Thank you HorseWorld for looking after him in his final years — he certainly enjoyed his retirement,” the team tweeted.