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‘He touched hearts’: former police horse put down aged 30 after happy retirement

A long-serving police horse who had to be put down aged 30 was so loved by staff who cared for him in retirement, they paid for him to be cremated so he could return home to them.

Irish draught gelding Boz had spent 11 years with charity Bransby Horses, since he retired from Greater Manchester Police in 2009.

During his time with the force, 17.2hh Boz served at football matches, including every Manchester derby from 2001 until his retirement, the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the Oldham riots in 2001 and every Manchester Pride event from 2001 until he left the force. He also travelled to Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2002 to take part in the All The Queen’s Horses parade to mark Her Majesty’s golden jubilee.

Bransby farm manager Rachel Jenkinson, a former mounted officer with the City of London Police, told H&H Boz had “touched the hearts of so many of our staff”.

“He was a very special horse,” she said. “The staff at our Walklands Farm, where he lived, gave him a lovely 30th birthday party this year. He was a gentle giant, and a favourite with all of them.”

Ms Jenkinson added that the love the staff had for Boz was demonstrated by the fact they collectively funded his cremation “so he could come back to Bransby to be remembered at Walklands Farm with the team that cared for him”.

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“But Greater Manchester Police have very kindly come back to us to say they will meet that cost,” she said. “I think that reflects how special he was.”

Boz had enjoyed a happy retirement at Walklands, under team leader Lucy Greaves, acting as a nanny to some of the thoroughbreds, and the star of the charity’s former police horse parades at its summer fairs.

“He was good to do in all ways despite his size and was kind and gentle with staff, volunteers, children and all our visitors,” Ms Jenkinson said. “He touched the hearts of so many of our staff.”

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