24/02/2020 RIP Jack Priday

It is with the greatest sadness and heaviest heart we inform you that this week we said our final goodbyes to our beloved Jack Priday at the age of 26.

The handsome Jack Priday arrived here at The Horse Trust in 2011 after serving 11 years in The Greater Manchester Police Mounted Branch (GMP). Jack Priday was a striking pure Irish Draught flea bitten grey gelding with the most amazing presence whilst on and off duty. During his career he was involved in numerous public order duties and daily patrols in and around Manchester. He also played a vital role in major events such as the Oldham Riots in 2001, the Manchester riots in 2011, The Commonwealth Games in 2002 and all key football games in the Manchester area. The handsome grey even participated in ‘All the Queen’s Horses’ celebration which took part in Windsor back in 2002. After a successful and commendable career he unfortunately sustained a suspensory ligament injury that meant he was no longer suitable for ridden work. Jack Priday was described as a brave and loyal horse who excelled at any challenge he faced, however big or small. Jack Priday was a special chap as he carried the huge privilege of being named after the farrier who worked for the GMP for 35 years until he retired at the grand age of 84. It was a sad day for GMP to see the magnificent grey leave but they knew he was off to live the retirement he truly deserved in the glorious Chilterns Hill.

When Jack Priday arrived here at The Horse Trust he was just as handsome as he looked in all his working pictures. It was safe to say everyone fell in love with him instantly and not just for his dashingly handsome looks! He quickly settled into his new relaxed lifestyle. In typical grey horse style, he was often mistaken for being skewbald and spent most his days wallowing in the mud! Even after his courageous career Jack Priday was always known for being a bit of a scaredy cat. Every time the grooms would enter the field with a bucket or anything suspicious looking he would always scarper to to the furthest point of the field with absolutely no chance of catching him! If they needed to perform any veterinary treatment on Jack Priday, the grooms would have to hide the equipment in a bush and always catch him first. Claire his groom can recall many days where she's chased him around the field for hours trying to catch him!! Sometimes all Claire wanted to do was give him a nice groom but this cheeky chap would always be one step ahead. In 2014 we saw the arrival of newbie Reginald who was another recently retired police horse. As soon as the two met they were marked as inseparable and the best of friends. Wherever you would find a Jack Priday you would find a Reginald! We absolutely loved watching their friendship grow and it offers us so much comfort to know that these two found comfort and happiness in each other. We would refer to the pair as ‘The Blues Brothers’ and their relationship made fantastic stories on Facebook that all our supporters adored and loved to follow. In 2018 we captured the most beautiful picture of Jack Priday and Reginald that really showed their special bond. We loved it so much it made our 2020 calendar as April. Even though Jack Priday has left us it’s so warming that we still have these gorgeous pictures of our favourite pair together that we will cherish forever.

For a long time, Jack Priday has suffered from a condition called canker. Canker is an infectious process that affects the horse’s foot, mainly in the frog, bars and sole. Fortunately, it has always been an illness we have been able to manage and medicate for to make him comfortable but in recent months is has become much more consistent and painful for him. As well as suffering from canker, Jack Priday in his older age has become arthritic causing more lameness issues. In 2018 he gave us quite the scare when he had a seizure in the field. Even though he mentally recovered from this ordeal unfortunately ever since he has slowly started to lose his condition and weight. With all these issues combined and bearing in mind the pain he was currently in with his canker, we made the incredibly heart-breaking decision to let him go.

Jack Priday, you have left us heartbroken. We have had the absolute pleasure of having you in our lives and a part of our Horse Trust family for 8 years. We miss you already and we know Reg will too but don’t worry we will take good care of him for you. Rest easy now boy, it has been our honour and we are very proud to have given you the retirement you deserved. Sleep tight Jack Priday.