Queen names new police horse – and hands out carrots to top racehorses

  • A police force’s most recent equine recruit has been given the royal seal of approval – as he was named by The Queen herself.

    Her Majesty named the newest member of the Avon and Somerset Police mounted branch, Windsor, during a visit to east Somerset on Thursday (28 March).

    The seven-year-old black gelding, who stands 17hh, has been with the branch for nine months, going through his specialist training as an equine recruit.

    His rider and trainer is PC Kath Pitman, who has been with the mounted section for 17 years.

    Ms Pitman told H&H she has taken his training slowly owing to his age and lack of previous experience, but that she has high hopes for his future.

    “The hours put into his training were also rewarded on Thursday as he was impeccably behaved throughout and took the three cheers from the surrounding audience in his stride,” she said. “He will do most things for a Polo reward and even put his nose towards The Queen’s handbag expecting a treat when she was presenting him his name plaque.”

    Jubilee, a 14-year-old gelding who was also named by The Queen in 2012 during her Diamond Jubilee tour visit to Yeovil, joined Windsor for his naming ceremony.

    “It was a great honour to meet the Queen,” Ms Pitman said. “I have been working for the police force since 1987 and am due to retire next year so this was such an amazing way to end my mounted career. We were also accompanied by groom Natalie Box who looks after both horses and was extremely proud of them.”

    Avon and Somerset Police chief constable Andy Marsh, who was also present at the ceremony, said: “We are delighted to have had this opportunity of having one of our horses officially named by The Queen.

    “It is our second horse to be named by Her Majesty in the space of seven years, which is a rare achievement. Having both horses – Jubilee and Windsor – together today for the royal visit was quite special for us.”

    It was a day of equine engagements for The Queen, who also visited trainer Paul Nicholls’ yard in Ditcheat, Somerset.

    Continues below…

    She met seven-year-old Cheltenham Festival winner Topofthegame, who lived up to his name to take the RSA Insurance novices’ stakes for Paul on 15 March, and fed carrots to a number of his racing stars. Paul described the visit as “a great honour” on Twitter.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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