Today is said to be the saddest day of the year, but one thing that tends to bring a smile to people’s faces all year round are our police horses.
Police Horse (PH) Pollard, PH Gilbert and PH Andy receive plenty of attention and have proven very popular with members of the public, many coming into the City to say hello and take a selfie with our horses. It’s a great way to engage with our police officers as well.
Meet our horses
PH Pollard is a chestnut Normandy Cobb, and described as a very gentle character who enjoys attention and loves his food more.
PH Gilbert is a Clydesdale/Cob cross who came to us in 2020 during the pandemic. He’s named after Dame Professor Sarah Gilbert, who helped design the Oxford COVID vaccine
PH Andy is our newest member of the team and is still in training, but making quick progress. Andy is unique in the police horse world in that he has retained his ‘feathers’ the long hairs located on his lower legs.
T/Police Sergeant, Joanna Brown, at City of London Police’s Mounted Branch, said:
“Our horses tend to receive a lot of attention when out in the City and they do put a smile on people’s faces. They get involved with events for schools and communities throughout the year, and the Mounted Branch are very popular with our residents especially around Barbican.
“Some people find this time of year difficult, and while our horses do bring some joy to people, it’s also important to talk to someone, such as the Samaritans, if you are having a difficult time.”
The Samaritans have described today being the most difficult day of the year as a “myth”, and are urging people to have conversations with family, friends, colleagues and loved ones at any time of the year.
Anyone having a difficult time can also contact the Samaritans for support.
The role of Mounted Branch
The Mounted Section horses play a major role in policing the City from hi-visibility patrols to state occasions, crowd control at demonstrations and sporting events and ceremonial duties.
Our officers and horses have patrolled the King’s coronation, Lord Mayor’s show, Trooping the Colour and assisted in Buckingham Palace Guard changes and state visits from foreign dignitaries.
Away from ceremonial duties, police horses also provides a reassurance to the public. Our officers have an elevated vantage point when saddled up, giving them a wider perspective of an area that an officer on foot might not see.
Mounted patrols are often intelligence-led in a counter-terrorism capacity, due to the fact they can provide such a strong, visible presence. The Branch are also used regularly on Project Servator deployments.