‘A complete gentleman’: speedy 18.2hh police horse enjoys his last Royal Ascot before well-earned retirement

  • A speedy 18.2hh police horse is on duty at his last Royal Ascot this week, as he prepares to retire after seven years of “distinguished service”.

    Thames Valley Police mounted section stalwart Atlas was to be part of the procession along the racecourse this week, escorting members of the royal family and their guests to the royal box. His career is being “brought to a close” this summer.

    “Post-procession, he will be handing over the reins to the rest of the team, who will be carrying out high-visibility reassurance patrols in and around the areas of Ascot racecourse, throughout the day and into the evening,” a Thames Valley Police spokesperson said.

    “This historic event will be PH Atlas’s last major deployment for the force before he retires.”

    Atlas, who joined the force in 2017 aged seven, has helped police many historic events, including the funerals of The late Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the coronation of King Charles and the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

    Picture by Thames Valley Police

    “He has been on duty at countless football matches, protests and high-visibility patrol work across the Thames Valley,” the spokesperson said. “He has also been involved in many operations, jobs, events and patrols as part of our joint operations unit with Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Constabulary, ensuring the safety of communities across the county.

    “Atlas’ height advantage and his exceptional speed helps to assist officers with pursuing offenders if required.”

    Atlas is to start his retirement with the mounted section team while he waits for a place at The Horse Trust.

    PC James Metcalf will be riding Atlas on his final duties.

    “I’m incredibly lucky to have Atlas as my commander’s horse for this year’s Royal Ascot,” he said. “He is a complete gentleman who will be sorely missed by myself and the entire mounted section team when he begins his retirement.

    “Atlas has definitely earned himself a well-deserved rest following his years of unflinching service.”

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Subscribe today and enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus unlimited website access and digital versions of the magazine dating back to September 2012.

    You may like...