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Two ‘black beauties’ retire after years of ‘heroic’ public service

A police horse once ridden by Charlotte Dujardin, and a horse who saved the lives of “countless” others at a vet school, have retired to the Horse Trust.

The Buckinghamshire-based charity welcomed the two “black beauties” – 19-year-old police horse Normandy and 11-year-old vet school teaching horse Mayo – last week.

Mayo arriving at the Horse Trust

A spokesman for the Horse Trust said Normandy, a 16.2hh Oldenberg gelding, was known for being “sweet and easy-going” during his 15 years with the Metropolitan Police.

“His duties included patrolling on state visits and the state opening of Parliament as well as taking part in Trooping the Colour, the Changing of the Guards,” he said.

“His main claim to fame is that he was ridden by the one and only Charlotte Dujardin when she came to visit the police stables.”

The spokesman said Irish sports horse Mayo had an “interesting life” beginning his career as a six-year-old in 2015 with the Defence Animal Training Regiment. The 17hh gelding had been due to undertake training towards becoming a cavalry horse, but was later diagnosed with kissing spines. While the gelding received treatment, it was deemed he was not fit enough to continue his training.

“Being such a lovely boy, the decision was made to send Mayo to Bristol Vet School in 2018, where he could be retired from ridden work but was still able to enjoy a number of years helping vet students learn the ropes on a real horse,” said the spokesman.

“As well as this Mayo saved the lives of horses who needed urgent blood transfusions following injury or illness. Without Mayo on hand to donate, these poor horses would certainly have died. This beautiful boy well and truly deserves his retirement.”

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Horse Trust chief executive Jeanette Allen told H&H the charity is “delighted” to welcome two more “heroic” public servants that have assisted with very worthy causes in such different ways.

“We can’t wait to see Normandy meet up with his old work mates that have already retired to us including Gawain, Kathleen and superstar Boris,” she said.

“We are also very proud to be retiring Mayo, who has saved countless lives throughout his career, from his blood donations. We can’t wait to see these two settle into their retirements with us.”

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