The Retirement of Caesar: He came, He saw, He conquered!

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A decade of brave and loyal service with the Thames Valley Mounted Police came to an end on Monday when Caesar, the 15 year old, 18.2hh Shire Gelding, swapped the tarmacked streets for green pastures at The Horse Trust, in the heart of the Chilterns inBuckinghamshire.

It is truly an end of an era for Thames Valley Police but the start of relaxing and taking life far more slowly for magnificent Shire Horse Caesar. He was mostly ridden by the Section’s Sergeant and has now retired from working at the forefront of an outstanding section, uniting the best of national policing with the best of community policing to deliver the highest standards possible. Taking off his saddle for the last time was a deeply emotional moment for all those who have had the privilege to work with, ride and care for such a wonderful horse.

Colourful career

Caesar’s truly colourful career was dotted with a wide variety of duties including providing Close Protection Security to Her Majesty The Queen’s Royal procession on the course at Ascot every year, attending many public order commitments including assisting other forces as far afield as Sussex, Devon and even Cumbria.

Caesar also attended many demonstrations and marches across the UK facing large and often violent crowds; this equine public servant has been injured on several occasions by objects thrown during public order operations.

Caesar at 18.2hh and weighing in a whopping one metric tonne, is a truly gentle but brave giant and has often been deployed across Thames Valley locations to help other horses deal with the most challenge of situations. Caesar also has been involved with various security operations involving the current government and counter terrorism patrolling at specific identified target locations.

Pictured here with Sgt Spencer Kervin leading him off the truck to trot into retirement here at The Horse Trust, this was not the first time Caesar has visited the local charity that would become his retirement home.

Violence, public safety

Police horses often face large crowds and occasionally even violence and aggression and must be able to work closely together in teams in order to help maintain public safety. Previously Caesar came to The Horse Trust with Police horses Sampson, Odin, Trojan, Pagan and Luna to train together as part of a troop drill to practice working as a team.  PC Tim Pollock of TVP said ‘thanks to the size of The Horse Trust’s horse training school, we are able to work six horses together, which is a useful experience for them’.

The Horse Trust is immensely proud of its long relationship with Thames Valley Police. Many of their police officers who are not in the Mounted Section visit The Horse Trust to receive training in basic horse handling and welfare assessment, to ensure that they have the skills needed to deal with stray horses on the road, as well as any welfare concerns they may encounter.

Caesar will now live out his twilight years in the expert care and beautiful setting of The Horse Trust as a well-earned reward for his many years of service to the country and the community. All Thames Valley Police horses retire to the care of The Horse Trust, along with horses that have served in Police forces across the country, in the Army and local welfare cases and as a registered charity it relies on donations from the public.

The Horse Trust said: “For 130 years our Home of Rest for Horses has specialised in providing retirement and respite for working horses and ponies. These hard-working equine public servants have served our nation in the Police, the Army or with charities which use horses to help people. We also provide sanctuary to horses, ponies and donkeys who have suffered from cruelty or neglect and who are in desperate need of specialist treatment and care.”- PRNewswire

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