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Showjumping-bred warmblood excels in police horse training

A newly qualified police horse who excelled in his training at large demonstrations has been officially named in a special ceremony.

Avon and Somerset Police recruit LJ was named Clevedon, after the Victorian town in Somerset, on the seafront on 8 December. He was joined by his rider, mounted patrol officer Trudi Wilsher, and stablemates Mike, Mendip and Larry.

Supertintendent Mark Edginton, who announced LJ’s new name, said the Belgium warmblood gelding had already shown the characteristics needed to be a police horse.

“I would like to say a massive thanks to Trudi, Clevedon, and all of the team who put so much hard work and effort into training our horses,” he said.

“Clevedon has already cut the mustard at large demonstrations this year, such as Greta Thunberg’s visit to Bristol in February and the Black Lives Matters protest, again in Bristol, in June. He’s already shown his worth, and it’s a real pleasure to be here and give him his official title.”

A spokesman for the force said the gelding arrived as a five-year-old in August 2019. He was bred for showjumping but after he proved “too laid back” for his intended career, his relaxed attitude proved an asset in his police horse training.

“Clevedon is fully trained now and is performing excellently. He will take on all duties, from difficult football matches to school visits,” said mounted section sergeant Ed Amor.

“He has the nicest nature, loves to be scratched behind his withers and will be a great ambassador for policing in our community.”

Clevedon joins equine colleagues Blaise, Clifton, Mendip, Quantock, Somerset, Wellington, Jubilee and Windsor.

Superintendent Edginton said the force’s horses repeatedly prove themselves to play an “unmatched role” in maintaining public order, and a major role in every single public order incident in Avon and Somerset in the last 30 years, helping the force contain and manage major incidents, protect the public and prevent injuries.

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Police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens added that she was delighted to officially welcome Clevedon to the mounted section.

“I have every faith that he will be a valuable addition to the team,” she said.

“Our police horses play a huge part in keeping people safe, and I am confident Clevedon will support our officers in serving and protecting our communities.”

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