16/03/2020 Farewell Albert

It is with a heavy heart we inform you of the passing of our beloved Albert at the age of 23. The extremely handsome Albert arrived at The Horse Trust back in March 2015 after serving in The Thames Valley Police Mounted Branch for an impressive 10 years. Albert was an exceptional police horse who has patrolled many cities and towns throughout the Thames Valley area. He worked numerous football matches including Reading, Oxford Utd, MK Dons and Wycombe Wanderers. Not only that but he also worked alongside neighbouring forces at Leicester, Swindon, Brighton, Northampton, Stoke, Luton, Watford, and Norwich. Police horses who worked at these matches were often the bravest as some of them occasionally result in disorder and pitch invasions - Albert was as brave as they come. Albert also attended many demonstrations including Anti War, English Defence League, Student protests and Fathers for Justice. He was been present as music concerts at Milton Keynes Bowl including Oasis and Green Day. Albert even stepped up to Royal duties escorting Her Majesty The Queen at the Royal Ascot Races and escorted The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery and The Household Cavalry during State Visits to Windsor.

I think you will agree with us that this magnificent horse had a commendable career that we are all very proud of. So much so, that in 2014, Albert was recognised for his bravery during service and was put forward as a finalist (only one of three) in the ‘RSPCA and Daily Mirror Animal Hero Awards’. After a decade of policing for The Thames Valley the difficult decision was made to retire Albert after he’d suffered with lameness issues. Albert was very much loved by all the team and everyone who had met him whilst out on duty. His doting lead groom at the time described him as ‘the prettiest horse in the world!!’ and we could see exactly why.

On arrival at The Horse Trust, it was safe to say that Albert made his presence known! He towed his rider off the lorry as if to say, ‘I’m home!’ and from that moment we immediately fell in love with the gorgeous fella. It wasn’t just on this occasion Albert made a big impression... During our Horses, Hounds and Heroes event a few years back, Albert decided he didn’t want to be tied up and stand like the sensible police horse he was and bolted away! We couldn’t help but giggle at the fact all the younger horses were all stood all looking on in despair as the elderly officer with years of experience was carting around the field at speed! And that is why Albert was so loved, as his age never got in the way of his big cheeky personality.

Albert spent his last years in a private foster home as his big personality struggled to settle into herd life and preferred having a more one-to-one home. Our hearts and condolences go out to them and we thank them for looking after him. Our horse’s welfare and health are always our top priority and we know he was very happy in his foster home and was smothered with love. It’s been a pleasure and an honour to offer Albert this bespoke retirement. A true local hero who will always be remembered, not only for his bravery but the smiles he has brought to many. Sleep tight special boy.