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‘We’re thrilled to have you’: brave police horse officially retired after ‘remarkable’ career


  • A police horse of “unparalleled bravery” has retired with all due ceremony after a career that was “nothing short of remarkable”.

    Oliver, formerly of the Metropolitan Police mounted unit, was officially retired, aged 18, at The Horse Trust, during its annual fundraising Horses, Hounds and Heroes event. He will enjoy a “restful and relaxing retirement, full of the love he so richly deserves”.

    The 17.1hh Irish draught gelding started his career with the Met in 2011.

    “Oliver’s tenure with the Met Police has been nothing short of remarkable,” said a spokesperson for The Horse Trust.

    “As a natural leader, he has been an integral part of numerous high-profile and prestigious events. He has been a guiding force for novice riders, providing them with the confidence and skills needed to excel. Senior officers have frequently relied on Oliver for his steadfastness and reliability, especially during public order and ceremonial events. His bravery is unparalleled, as he has fearlessly protected crowds during various football matches, rugby tournaments, music concerts, protests, and marches across Greater London.”

    Oliver also took part in royal ceremonial events, including the funerals of The late Queen and Baroness Thatcher, the Notting Hill Carnival and the Commonwealth Games procession.

    Picture by SLR Equine Photography

    “Ridden by esteemed figures such as ex-commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and senior officers during the Lord Mayor’s Show in 2023, Oliver’s presence has been a mark of honour and excellence,” the spokesperson said.

    “Oliver is truly a horse full of character. His loving nature towards people and his fondness for affection make him a beloved companion. Known for his keen interest in people and exceptional ability to search for food and treats, Oliver’s personality shines brightly. His bravery is complemented by his calm demeanour, as he remains unbothered in the face of potential challenges. While he sometimes doesn’t know his own size, he remained polite and very well-mannered, making him a delight to work around.”

    Horse Trust chief executive Jeanette Allen said it was a privilege to take Oliver in his retirement.

    “To see him led in, looking stunning, escorted by the newest generation of Metropolitan Police horses was truly moving,” she said. “Having his saddle removed for the final time, in front of the crowd, was a very special and highly emotional moment for the Met mounted section and for all of us. He has immense presence, and we are thrilled to now going this very special boy to our herd here. Happy retirement Oliver, we are thrilled to have you.”

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