18/03/2013 Farewell to London's Bravest Police Horse

It has been a sad week at The Horse Trust as we very suddenly and unexpectedly lost Chiswick (Daniel) one of our retired police horses and a much-loved member of our herd.

Chiswick originally came to us for several months respite back in February 2012. However, after 12 years’ service, he permanently retired from the Metropolitan Police in November 2012. Chiswick was an exceptional horse who showed outstanding bravery during his career. Even jumping burning barricade during the student riots in 2010. Handsome 17.3hh bay gelding Chiswick was no stranger to the limelight and has acted as mounted escort to the Queens Life Guard, Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and the Royal Wedding in 2011. He also held the position of a “Pointer” during State Funerals where he was ridden by the Inspector of the Mounted Branch, attended the London 2012 Olympics and even featured in the 2002 Bond film ‘Die Another Day’

Chiswick had recently been referred to the Royal Veterinary College for treatment for an infection in his teeth and sinuses. Having made a full recovery from his dental and sinus problems he suddenly became extremely ill. The staff and vets did absolutely everything they could but he was in so much pain and distress the incredibly difficult decision to put him to sleep had to be made. His vets believe that the most likely cause of his sudden deterioration was a tumor of some kind pressing on his gut and eventually completely constricting it. Nothing more could be done for him except to relieve him of his pain and give him a quiet comfortable goodbye in the company of people who loved him.

A tribute to Chiswick from The Horse Trust:

‘Being predominantly a retirement home for horses and ponies who have served, we have to cope with difficult goodbyes often, but losing Chiswick came as a real shock to us all. He was such an amazing character and so full of life. We had hoped to have him with us for many years to come, but tragically it was not to be. He had served the people of London faithfully and exceptionally during his working life and his sudden and unexpected loss leaves an enormous hole in our hearts. We send huge love to PC Mick Wass who rode Daniel for all those years, first in the Parks Police and then in the Met, and who’s bond with the big fella was exceptional. No doubt Daniel will be tanking through fences and flirting with girls and keeping a watchful eye over both Mick and Teddy from above. Goodnight, Daniel, people all over the world loved you and we will miss you terribly. We so wish you didn’t have to leave us so soon but you take so much love with you. Bye bye big man.‘

Police horses often risking serious injury to carry out their duties protecting the public. The level of trust required between both horse and rider cannot be underestimated. Daniel's rider PC Mick Wass gave a touching tribute to his old friend:

‘I would like to say a big thank you to all the great people at The Horse Trust who looked after my big fella this last year, especially to those who were with him at the end. I know it would have given him comfort to leave this world surrounded by those that loved him and it is more than I could have asked for, thank you. He was a big part of my career, we were partners for 12 years and I have loads of stories and memories that will keep him alive in my mind and heart. Dan could be such a mindful fella when the mood suited him and that was what made him such a character. There were time when I knew he was less than impressed with a job we were doing but he always got on with it. I am under no illusion who was in charge though it wasn’t me. I could ramble on for hours about my big buddy but suffice to say he gave unconditionally and I am honoured to have been part of his life. Thank you Daniel. Thank you Horse Trust. RIP big fella’.

Visit our Police Horse Pledgebook to leave your tribute to Chiswick.