An “extremely special” retired police horse who stood at a “whopping” 19hh has been put down aged 23.
The Horse Trust paid tribute to Klydascope, known as “Big Klyde”, who was put down on 18 April owing to a number of medical problems.
Charity chief executive Jeannette Allen told H&H Klyde arrived in 2012 following retirement from Cleveland Police, who he served with for more than 10 years.
“Klyde was supposed to be an eventer, but grew too big and joined the police. His grandsire was champion racehorse Mill Reef meaning he was part-thoroughbred. The older he got, the more it became a battle to keep weight on him, especially in winter. In spring we should have seen the weight coming back on but it didn’t and we established he wasn’t absorbing nutrients from what he was eating.
“He developed ulcers in his mouth that wouldn’t heal and little infections that shouldn’t have caused him as much difficulty as they did. We were told mouth ulcers can be linked to a poor immune system and it all started adding up for him. He was normally right in the middle of the boys all the time, but he was starting to keep himself apart; that was a big signal from him that he had had enough.” Klyde retired from the police after he started to struggle with the demands of roadwork and was later joined at the charity by four of his former colleagues, Reg, Roman, Joey and Alf, when the Cleveland Police mounted section closed in 2014.
“Klyde used to come inside for visitors, but he suffered a fractured splint bone in 2014. He spent a long time on box rest while it healed and it put him off being indoors so we couldn’t bring him in for visitors because he would kick at the stable and say ‘get me out of here’ and you don’t argue with something that big,” said Jeanette.
“Though we couldn’t bring him in, he was still very affectionate wth the staff and would take lots of fuss and cuddles.”
Jeanette said chestnut Klyde often caused “hilarity” among “vertically challenged” staff.
“Trying to get a headcollar or rug on was a challenge for shorter people – it was ridiculous, but in the best possible way. You couldn’t miss him – there was never any mistaking who it was you were talking to,” she said. “He was so physically striking, not just his size but his looks.
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“He was absolutely magnificent and with that colour, boy, he stood out from the crowd. He was quite finely put together, he wasn’t very heavyset as you normally might get at that height.”
Jeannette said Klyde had a “really happy” retirement.
“He was with us for seven years. Apart from trying to keep the weight on in winter, he was a very happy boy. He always had friends and was a natural leader in the herd. We really do miss him, he was so special,” she said.
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