A new addition to the Thames Valley Police mounted section has caused a stir just one week into his new life with the force.
The six-year-old 17.2hh Shire Friesian cross — known to his friends as “Brian” — is progressing with his training under a cloud of doubt surrounding his name.
If Brian passes his six-week training course, a police spokesman said it is likely his name will be changed to align with the traditional naming policy within the mounted section.
Brian’s current stablemates include Caesar, Trojan, Pagan and Lunar. However, after Thames Valley announced yesterday (Thursday 12 February) that Brian’s name could become Odin, Thor or Hercules to fit in around the yard, there was an outcry from the British public.
People took to social media to voice their opinions on the potential name change.
“How rude to change his name. If he passes all of his tests he should be called Sir Brian,” tweeted Lesley Clawson.
Brian Callaghan said: “Brian is a good name!” Meanwhile, one savvy Facebook user played on the Monty Python theme and suggested that Brian’s name should remain and he should start a blog named “The life of Brian”.
Thames Valley Police has since appeared to have backtracked. “Following a public outcry, it looks like Brian may keep his name. A decision will be made if he passes training,” said a spokesman.
PC Kirsty Wilson, of the mounted section, said of Brian’s progress so far: “He has seen a lot of hazards — things you would expect to scare normal horses, but so far Brian has not put a hoof wrong.”
She added: “I am 50/50 with him at the moment. He is certainly on his way and so far he has not given us any reason to doubt him, but it is very early days.”