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Farewell to gentle giant police horse who adored humans and Likits

A brave police horse who adored humans and Likits has died aged 23.

Iceini spent five years with Thames Valley Police’s (TVP) mounted unit, until navicular cut short his career, and he has spent the last 12 years in happy retirement at the Horse Trust.

During his time in service, Iceini escorted members of the Royal Family on state visits and many other occasions, including Royal Ascot.

Although his time with TVP was short, he was remembered fondly for his “fantastic attitude to work”.

A spokesman for the charity said his wonderful temperament and nature “shone through from the day he arrived”.

“He has always been a favourite with all the members of the team and was lovingly known as Rhino and Iceinidon, a new breed of dinosaur as named by the grooms, due to his sheer size,” she said, adding he was the charity’s heaviest horse, weighing in at 900kg.

“Even though this chap looked like a real bruiser, Iceini was truly the definition of a gentle giant,” she said.

“He loved nothing more than human company and receiving scratches, especially on his neck and chest. Another big love of Iceini’s was food and you could always find him first waiting patiently for breakfast in the mornings with best buddy Rocco in tow.

“Occasionally, Iceini would be treated to a Likit bar, which were his ultimate favourite. So, in brief, humans and food, the way to Iceini’s heart.”

The spokesman recalled how despite his “tough look”, there were certain circumstances where Iceini was not always so bold.

“Seeing Nicky the vet for check up and being measured with the dreaded height stick were not Iceini’s favourite things to do,” she added.

“He also did not enjoy being in the stable and would often take matters into his own hands…..taking stable doors off their hinges, that is!

“Luckily, he was not exactly built for speed so when this did happen, it wasn’t very fast. We soon learnt being on the yard was not for him, so spending the rest of his days in the fields was what we left him do.”

Iceini had recently been treated for primary bladder disease and arthritis, which had worked for a time.

“Sadly, after only a short while, his pain levels increased again dramatically. Knowing there was no further treatment we could offer Iceini, the heartbreaking but quick decision was made to not let him suffer any longer,” said the spokesman.

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