10/01/2014 Cleveland Police Horses arrive for retirement

Sad farewell to the last Cleveland Police Horses as they move to new pastures at The Horse Trust

Four horses from the recently disbanded Cleveland Mounted Police Unit have moved to a new home at The Horse Trust.

It was a sad day for the region as the section’s officers, grooms and volunteers accompanied the horses on the 250 mile drive to their new home. After their final journey together they settled the horses in before saying a sad and emotional farewell to the brave mounts that had served them faithfully for so many years.

The section’s remaining four police horses Reg, Alfie, Roman and Joey joined fellow Cleveland Police Horse Big Klyde who retired to The Horse Trust in July 2012. 19hh gentle giant Big Klyde served with the mounted section for over 10 years and was the biggest police in the country. Despite the sadness of the occasion the officers were delighted to be reunited with Big Klyde.

PC Chris Bancroft said ‘I am over the moon the horses have come here. I would rather they came here than anywhere else. We always knew what a great place this was, and we were thrilled when Big Klyde came here for his retirement. The Horse Trust is a true working horse’s utopia’

Cleveland Police announced in June it would be disbanding its mounted section in a bid to save £88,000 a year. Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer said the decision to disband the section was "one of the hardest" she had ever made and pledged to find the horses “safe and caring” new homes. Cleveland Police approached The Horse Trust, who specialise in providing respite and retirement for working horses who have served their country and community in the police and military, and the charity was happy to help.

The mounted section was much-loved by their local community and a campaign to save Cleveland’s police horses gained thousands of supporters including Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling and comedian Patrick Monahan. Despite their valiant efforts the campaigners were unable to raise the £521,000 annual costs needed to save the section. Local people expressed their sadness at the loss of their mounted branch on the campaign’s Facebook page.

Cleveland Police Mounted Section is the latest in a number of mounted branches to have been disbanded across the country due to increasing financial pressures with Humberside Police Mounted Section set to close next year. In 2012 The Horse Trust gave new homes to Trojan and Patrick from the Essex Police Mounted Section when they disbanded.

Alfie, Reg and Roman had all served with the Cleveland Mounted Section for over 5 years. They were regularly seen on daily patrols in the Cleveland area and policed football hundreds of football matches at Middleborough FC. They even helped police the Olympic Park and Wembley during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The youngest horse Joey had been with the mounted section for 2 years and was still in training. Cleveland Police horses Bob and Ranger moved to Northumbria Police Mounted Section earlier this month. Two long serving horses from Northumbria Mounted branch, Phlint and Pongo, will arrive at The Horse Trust next week and will enjoy a peaceful retirement in the Chiltern countryside.

Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust said ‘We are pleased to have been able to help Cleveland Mounted Police Section by providing a specialist home for these brave and hardworking horses. Police horses Alfie, Reg, Roman and Joey will be joining fellow Cleveland Police horse Big Klyde and our our family of retired, working horses that have served their country and community and those less fortunate rescued animals that come to us in need for urgent care. All of the horses have settled in really well, especially Alf who is so laid back he is acting like he has been here forever’

Find out more about our newest arrivals in our horse gallery