‘Like losing a friend’: colic claims the life of brilliant police horse

  • Officers at Avon and Somerset Police have paid tribute to the “cheeky” but brilliant police horse Blaise, who has died aged 15.

    The stalwart of the Avon and Somerset mounted branch, who had been with the force since 2018, suffered a sudden bout of colic and could not be saved.

    A spokesman for the force said: “PH Blaise was 15 years old when he sadly died after getting colic. He had been with Avon and Somerset Police for five years, spending three years with his rider PC Amy Glew.

    “PH Blaise is described as a cheeky character who became a mentor to the younger horses in the mounted division. He was a brilliant horse who loved to play around but when he started working, he would do exactly as we trained him to do.

    “He has worked a number of football games, festivals such as Glastonbury and was one of the horses deployed during the Bristol riot, which took place outside Bridewell police station in spring 2021. He was a huge part of the team and will be sorely missed by everyone.”

    PC Glew told ITV news she was on maternity leave when the riot broke out in 2021, so another officer was riding Blaise, who “really showed what a brilliant police horse he was”, demonstrating his bravery as he took everything in his stride.

    The Avon and Somerset Police mounted section was honoured in 2021 with the first ever Police Horse and Officer Action of the Year award, which was presented on the last night of the Horse of the Year Show that October.

    “What our officers and horses experienced were levels of violence like nothing they had seen before,” said chief superintendent Claire Armes, head of operational support directorate at Avon and Somerset Police, at the time.

    “The courage and resilience they displayed was a credit to their characters, their training and to the outstanding bonds of loyalty and trust that our officers have built with their horses.

    “Our police horses have played a major role in every single public order incident in Avon and Somerset in the last 30 years, helping us contain and manage major incidents, protect the public and prevent injuries. They are, beyond doubt, a hugely valuable asset to our service.”

    Police sergeant Hannah Clarke had said the riots were the strongest aggression she had ever experienced in her career, and that the horses – Mendip, Somerset, Windsor, Trinity, Blaise and Clevedon – were “just amazing”.

    After Blaise’s death, PC Glew told ITV: “It’s like losing a friend, a partner. We’ve lost a really good police horse but we’ve also lost one of the team. It’s just really, really sad.”

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