Meet the gorgeous new grey helping keep our streets safe

  • One of Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) newest recruits had his first taste of football and did “fantastically” at his debut game.

    Nickleby, a six-year-old 16.2hh grey gelding, already a “firm favourite”, was among the six horses bought by the force on a shopping trip to Ireland last autumn.

    A GMP spokesman said the team is “really excited” about his progress.

    “Nickleby had done a bit of hunting and riding on the beach before coming to GMP,” he said.

    “Since arriving, he has been to his first low-level football match. This means he went to one that didn’t have as many people in the crowd as some of the more well-known games. To prepare him for this, he went to the empty ground the day before, so he could familiarise himself with his surroundings.

    “This meant it wasn’t strange to him when he arrived the next day and there were some small crowds there. He did fantastically and the team are really excited about his progress.

    “Nickleby has also been patrolling to different divisions on the horse box and has been taking part in some low-level effects training to help prepare him for hazards he may meet when out on a patrol.”

    Police horse Nickleby

    Nickleby is doing ‘fantastically’.

    The equine colleagues who joined at the same time include Belle, a six-year-old mare, who has made a “promising start” and staff are “delighted with her progress so far”.

    “The trainers are continuing with her schooling to maintain her obedience and understanding of the rider,” said the spokesman, adding that she has started patrolling the local area with another horse to build her confidence.

    “She has been taking part in some low-level effects training to help prepare her for hazards she may meet when out on a patrol. She’s got a great temperament and is really trusting of her rider, so everyone’s really excited for her future and what she can bring to the unit.”

    The six recruits featured a mix of real youngsters and more established horses. The five-year-old Chuzzlewit was turned out when he arrived to give him time to mature, and has started his early training.

    “Chuzzlewit has not been out on patrol yet, but he’s showing that he has the right attitude and temperament to be a great police horse,” said the spokesman.

    GMP is seeking loan horses for periods of four to six months, to be used in training its novice and experienced officers.

    For more information, contact: gmp.mountedunit@gmp.police.uk

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