British equine charity The Horse Trust has welcomed two young Metropolitan Police horses for breaks before they get into their work policing the busy streets of London.
Poppy and Qwerty have taken it in turns to take time out at the Buckinghamshire charity, which is the only organisation of its type in the country that specialises in providing respite and retirement for police horses. Police horses may need a break for many reasons. Often older horses need a rest from everyday work in order to recuperate or recover from an injury. Some younger police horses also need a break in order to give them time to mature before returning to work or training.
Poppy was four years old when she came to the Trust, and the Metropolitan Police felt it was in her best interests to have some time to rest and develop before continuing with police training. Police horses work hard to help protect communities and, as well as routine patrols, they can also face terrifying situations and violence whilst controlling crowds during football matches, demonstrations and riots. This can be mentally and physically tiring for young horses. After ten months of respite, Poppy will return to training and, based on her kind temperament and character, it is expected she will become an exceptional police horse.
As The Horse Trust bids a fond farewell to Poppy, Qwerty is welcomed. Four year old bay gelding Qwerty is an Irish Sport Horse and is 16.2hh. The Metropolitan Police think that he will benefit from a break at The Horse Trust to help him mature before returning to police work. Qwerty is very popular with everyone at the Metropolitan Police, who have already said they can’t wait to have him back!
Jo Sullivan, horse trainer at the Metropolitan Police said “We are delighted to have Poppy back and I’m sure she will enjoy a return to her training. Qwerty has completed his police training, so after a few months of rest to give him some time to mature, he will re-join the Met and begin working. I’m sure he will enjoy his time at The Horse Trust and will settle in very quickly.”
The welfare of horses is hugely important to both the Metropolitan Police and The Horse Trust and the two organisations have a strong relationship. The Horse Trust considers it an honour to provide respite and retirement for the hard working horses of the Metropolitan Police.
Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust said The Horse Trust had a long history of providing respite for working horses, dating back to 1886 when its Home of Rest for Horses was founded. “In the 21st century we are privileged to continue this essential work. Although we are all sad to say goodbye to Poppy who has become a very special character here, we are looking forward to welcoming Qwerty, our new arrival,” Allen said.