A police horse who was punched on the nose by a drunk football fan but “still loves people” has retired after 14 years on the beat.
Bud, a part-bred Shire, has come off duty aged 20 to spend the rest of his days at the Horse Trust.
He was unharmed in the incident at a Newcastle v Sunderland match in April 2013 – his attacker was sent to prison for a year – and was transferred from West Yorkshire Police to the Met two years later.
“Throughout his career, Bud was involved with all aspects of mounted policing, the good, the bad and, as we know, the occasionally ugly face of public gatherings including local patrols, ceremonial events, public demonstrations and countless sporting events,” said a Horse Trust spokesman.
“Thankfully this isn’t the sort of thing that happens very often.”
The spokesman said that Bud’s calm temperament made him ideal as a mount for officers new to riding, and for escorting inexperienced horses on the streets of London.
“But even he couldn’t go on for ever,” the spokesman said, adding that Bud’s former riders described him as a loyal and steady horse.
“As soon as he arrived, everyone at the Horse Trust fell in love with him. Incredibly he still loves people and that’s a testament to the great care police horses in service are given and to the very strong bonds they develop with their regular riders.
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“It was an emotional farewell when he arrived here, with more than a few Polos and kisses to go around.”
Horse Trust chief executive Jeanette Allen said Bud would join fellow former Met recruits Gawain, Hadrian, Kathleen, Cumbria and Jedburgh as well as Boris, Huntsman and Trojan who served with other police forces.
“It is our privilege to care for these incredible animals later in life that along with their officers give so much to our communities and I will personally make sure that Bud will never see another football scarf while he is with us!” she said.
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