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One of the City of London Police force’s longest-serving and “beloved” equine recruits is heading for pastures new after a distinguished career of service.

Ariel, otherwise known as “Roxy” was due to leave her mounted section colleagues today (21 September) for a new home in Cornwall.

The force’s stable manager Eloise Mayhead said she will miss the Irish draught mare, who has served the City of London Police since was four, 13 years ago.

“She’s done everything,” Eloise told H&H.

“She’s done football matches, about 10 Lord Mayor’s Shows, the Olympics, the student riots; she’s one of our mainstays.

“She’s sound, as she has been all her time here, and we’ll all miss her but it’s time to retire her and nice we can do it now, and she can have an active life with someone else; we’re very pleased about that.”

Eloise said that as stable manager, it is up to her, and her team, to decide when horses retire from the force.

“You might notice something different about a horse, or just think ‘this one’s done enough’,” she said.

“It’s always really nice to retire them to go on to someone else, sometimes for years afterwards.”

Eloise described Roxy as “very personable, calm and lady-like”.

“She’s slightly Hyacinth Bucket!” she added.

“Some forces won’t have mares but if the horse does the job, I don’t mind. A good mare is a good mare and there’s no getting away from that.

“She’s very calm and sensible out in the community and very forward when you ride her at home. She loves jumping, although she doesn’t leave many of them up!

“It’s like a bitter pill [to see her go] but it’s also quite a celebration.

“It’s really good to know she’s going to go and enjoy her retirement, which is what we all want.”