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‘Relaxation in peace, expensive good friend’: farewell to ‘magnificent’ former police horse

  • A “magnificent” former police horse who taught countless equine students about riding and horse care has been put down aged 25.

    Duke, who served with the Met Police and the City of London Epping Forest Services, as well as spending time at Writtle College on the equestrian programme, had spent three years of happy retirement at the Horse Trust.

    A spokesman for the charity described the Irish-bred gelding as “extraordinarily hard-working and brave”, adding that he had been known as “one of the best of the forest patrol horses”.

    “Duke patrolled Epping Forest with his rider Andrew, who he formed an incredibly special bond with during his years of service,” the spokesman said. “He was a horse who truly loved his work and enjoyed the kindness he received from the community.

    “During his time at the Horse Trust, he became one of our much-loved characters, thanks in part to his incredibly sweet nature, spirit and loving personality. On visitor days, Duke could often be seen with his head over the stable door welcoming lots of attention from the public.”

    Duke had been suffering with arthritis, which worsened over time and although last winter his pain medication and management had been adjusted to keep him comfortable and happy, his condition deteriorated further.

    “Duke eventually reached a point where we were no longer able to give him a good quality of life and therefore were forced to make the heart-wrenching decision to let him go,” the spokesman said.

    “We are truly heartbroken to say farewell to this loving horse who gave so much in his years of service and touched the hearts of so many.

    “Duke, you have been the most magnificent horse and it has truly been an honour to have you in our care over these past three years. We take comfort in the fact that you are now galloping free from pain, across the rainbow bridge. Rest in peace, dear friend, you will be for ever in our thoughts.”

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