04/10/2011 One of Merseyside's "Most Lovable" Police Horses Retires to The Horse Trust

Merseyside Police horse Cracker on Tuesday 4th October travelled around 200 miles to The Horse Trust's sanctuary for rescued and retired working horses in Buckinghamshire.

16.3hh bay gelding Cracker, who is nine years old, is described by Merseyside Police's stable manager Lindsay Gaven as their best-natured horse.

"Cracker is one of the most lovable horses we have," said Lindsay. "He's really affectionate and is a dream to look after - he stands stock still when he's being groomed and never gets up to trouble in his stable. He's quite a vocal horse though and whinnies to come in from the field when its time to be fed or if he wants some company!"

Cracker, so named because he arrived at the Merseyside Police just before Christmas in 2007, was involved in high-profile police work, such as crowd control during Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers football matches, safety patrols on the streets of Merseyside, and at major events such as the Grand National and Lord Mayor's Parade.

He is retiring to The Horse Trust as he has suffered from stiffness and intermittent lameness since having an operation to treat a condition known as kissing spine. Although he has been working for the Merseyside Police for less than four years, he is one of the staff's favourites.

"Because he was in his stable for so long recovering from his operation, we've all got to know him well," said Lindsay. "We're all going to miss him, particularly his groom Victoria [Demirer], who accompanied him on his way to The Horse Trust on Tuesday."

Lindsay is delighted that The Horse Trust is offering Cracker lifetime sanctuary at the charity's Home of Rest for Horses, where around 90 horses, ponies and donkeys from a variety of backgrounds have access to 200 acres of paddocks.

"I'm so pleased that Cracker will have a permanent home for life at The Horse Trust. Its lovely that he'll have all those acres to wander around in. I'm sure he'll love his retirement there," said Lindsay.

Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive Officer of The Horse Trust, welcomed Cracker to the sanctuary. "We are delighted to offer Cracker a peaceful place to pass the remaining years of his life after his loyal service to the police. I'm sure he will quickly become a favourite among our staff, volunteers and visitors to the sanctuary," said Jeanette.