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Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Friday, 27 August 2010 16:24 UK
Fund for Lancashire's retired police horses
Louise Davenport with Scorton
Louise Davenport with Scorton, one of Lancashire Constabulary's horses

A retirement fund has been set up for horses from Lancashire's mounted police unit once their careers come to an end.

They have previously been re-homed through charities but it is hoped the new scheme will help cover any costs when the horses are with new owners.

It is the brainchild of Jeanette Taylor, the branch support manager with the mounted police.

She says the aim is to make sure the horses enjoy their twilight years.

"It's to support the horses in their retirement."

The horses start working from the age of four and they work up until 21 and Jeanette says they play a vital role in the county's police force.

"They offer a loyal service to Lancashire for something like 15-17 years," explains Jeanette.

"One of our horses is the equivalent to eight foot officers yet they don't receive a pension.

'Kick-start'

Mounted police
Police horses start working from the age of four

"So by setting up the fund we can kick-start that pension for them by offering financial support because they are expensive to look after."

Many of Lancashire Constabulary's horses were re-homed through charities such as World Horse Welfare and HAPPA when they finish their working life.

However, often other horses take priority over ex-police horses explains Jeanette: "As they are still fit and healthy, they are not considered welfare cases and there are other horses out there whose needs are seen as greater."

Jeanette who owns a retired horse Excalibur who is now 27 - describes the animals as "gentle giants".

The stable manager adds: "They offer a wonderful service and we feel by setting up the fund we can send them on their way to have a really good retirement."




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