02/02/2012 Student Riot Horses Take a Break at The Horse Trust

Metropolitan Police horses Chiswick and Brigadier are from two different London mounted stables.  Chiswick from Hyde Park and Brigadier from Imber Court, where every officer and horse receives extensive training to ensure both horse and rider are well equipped to deal with the rigours of policing in the capital.

17.3hh Chiswick, whose stable name is Daniel, has arrived for 2 – 3 months respite, a service the charity has been providing for 125 years.  This versatile horse has carried out numerous duties during his 12 years service and these have been varied in nature.  He has undertaken many ceremonial escort roles and crime tasks within London such as mounted escorts to the Queens Life Guard, changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the Royal Wedding in 2011, controlling football crowds and the 2010 student riots.

His striking black colour and strong nature has earned him the position of “Pointer” for the Black Escort which is used for any State Funerals where the Inspector of the Mounted Branch leads the procession.

Chiswick’s rider Police Office Mick Wass travelled with him to The Horse Trust and was very pleased he had the opportunity of a well earned break. 

Brigadier, who stands at a much smaller 16hh is a bay gelding and has served the force for 14 years.  He has been retired to The Horse Trust as he can no longer be ridden due to degenerative changes in his hocks.  Hocks are the joints beween a horses’ tarsals, which are like bones in the feet of people, and the tibia, equivalent to our shin bone. 

Shirley Abbott, Yard Manager at The Horse Trust  said, “We shall have to double rug him as coming out of work he is fully clipped and suffers from Cushings, a condition cause by a non-malignant tumour on the pituitary gland.  Usually with this condition a horse has  a long curly coat which we expect will happen with Brigadier now that he is retired and no longer clipped.”

Like Chiswick, Brigadier has been involved in the full range of police work such as Notting Hill Carnival and Wembley football matches.

On the same day, Verdun and Alderman have returned to work at Kings Cross Mounted Section after relaxing and recuperating for 9 months at The Horse Trust.

Shirley Abbott, Yard Manager of The Trust said, “We are all feeling very sad as both horses will be missed. They have been two great characters and everybody has enjoyed them being with us especially their groom Matt Bradley.” She continued, “Before they left we made sure they looked very smart and were clipped ready to go back to work.  As we led them out of their stable the leapt onto the lorry as if they new they were going back to work.”