‘The bravest horse we had’: police horse retires after 13 years’ faithful service

  • A police horse who “won everybody’s hearts” during his 13-year career is to “put his hooves up and relax” in a happy retirement.

    Sam joined Lancashire Police’s mounted branch as a five-year-old in 2009. The force’s horses are named after places in the county and Sam was given his official name, Elswick.

    A Lancashire police spokesman said Elswick participated in an “endless” list of events during his career, including football matches, high-profile protests and marches, mutual aid events with other forces, musical rides, and “so much more”.

    “Elswick always wants to please, even if a bit nervous he would put all his trust in his rider and would take them into any situation,” said the spokesman. “He is by far the bravest horse we had.”

    The spokesman said Elswick was one of the force’s “go-to” horses for any event.

    “No matter how big, you could always rely on him,” he said.

    “One of his biggest events was Burnley homecoming, where he led the coaches through the crowds and he took it all in his stride. He also went on the pitch at Preston North End versus Blackpool when crowds invaded the pitch.”

    Elswick has also taught countless officers to ride over the years.

    “He has appeared on many riding courses and more often than not has been everyone’s first horse when they have joined the branch, showing them the ropes,” said the spokesman.

    “He really is a true gent and will be greatly missed by all here at the mounted branch. At 18 years of age we recently discovered his heart wasn’t quite working the way it should be so it is time for him to enjoy retirement.”

    Elswick has now joined fellow retired police horses at the Horse Trust in Buckinghamshire.

    “It’s safe to say he will be hugely missed, but it’s time for him to put his hooves up and relax after protecting Lancashire for 13 years,” said the spokesman.

    A Horse Trust spokesman said the charity is “honoured” to welcome Elswick.

    “We look forward to providing him with a long and happy retirement following his faithful service to the community and Lancashire Police,” she said.

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