‘Always happy and singing’: vocal police horse retired after 10 years’ service

  • A much-loved police horse who was “always happy” and would “whinny to say hello” has retired after 10 years’ service.

    Lancaster joined Lancashire Constabulary’s mounted unit in 2013, as a five-year-old. During his career he took part in events across the country, and owing to his name he was a “regular” at the annual Lancaster Castle shield-hanging ceremony.

    “He went to countless large football matches, and a particularly memorable English Defence League demonstration on Preston Flag Market, where he was right in the middle of it all,” said a spokesman for the force.

    “He helped many riders pass their intermediate riding course in both the flat and jumping phases; he could be quite a challenging ride at times but was so rewarding when it all came together.”

    The spokesman said Lancaster, who was known on the yard as Tommy, “had the honour” of being featured on the 2022 Murphy’s Army Purple Poppy Campaign, helping raise money for chosen charities.

    “He featured on poppy wreaths and leaflets wearing his purple poppy with pride,” he said.

    “He has always been a vocal boy, always happy and singing. Not an hour goes by where you don’t hear a whinny from him, for no reason other than just to say hello, and that is what we will miss most about him.”

    Lancaster was retired from duty aged 15 owing to his PPID (Cushing’s). The spokesman said it was an “emotional day” as he went through the gates for the final time to make his way to the Horse Trust this week.

    “Farewell Lancaster, thank you for all your service and say hello to your old friends Caton, Belthorn, Darwen, Sawley, Silverdale, Rivington, Elswick and Nelson who are all enjoying their retirement at the Horse Trust,” he said.

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