‘Sleep tight dear friend’: retired police horse dies aged 20

  • A charity has said a “tearful goodbye” to a long-serving police horse.

    Redland was put down on 10 October at the age of 20 due to health problems.

    Redland arrived at HorseWorld in Birmingham in October 2016 after 13 years of service with Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s mounted section.

    During his career he played key roles in civic ceremonial duties, as well as working at the Royal Bath and West Show, Glastonbury Festival, the London 2012 Olympics and the wedding of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

    The 17.3hh gelding served as the sergeant’s horse on numerous occasions, including the Bristol riots in 2011.

    Following his retirement he could still be lightly ridden and was an escort horse, accompanying newly-backed youngsters.

    On his arrival at the charity he was also reunited with one of his former colleagues, Beaufort, who passed away in March after three years of retirement at HorseWorld.

    “Recently, Redland had a tendon problem and had required ongoing veterinary treatment,” said a charity spokesman.

    “Eventually, the medication was no longer able to offer him relief and when the grooms went to feed him on Tuesday evening, they found he was unable to weight-bear.

    “He had also had ongoing dental problems and was finding it increasingly difficult to eat. He had been coping over the summer as long as he was on long enough grass as he couldn’t eat hay.

    “These boys have certainly earned their wings. Sleep tight dear friends.”

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    Avon & Somerset Constabulary’s mounted section paid tribute to Redland on Twitter.

    “Redland was truly an amazing horse who was born to join the police — a true gentle giant who could always be relied upon,” said a spokesman for the force.

    “Farewell our handsome boy.”

    Jonathan Green, from the force, described Redland as a “very faithful, reliable police horse” on his retirement.

    “[He] is loved by every member of staff and adored by every member of the public that he has met,” he added.

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