A HERO police horse who loyally served the Wearside community has been put to sleep.
Chestnut gelding Pern was one of Northumbria Police’s leading horses for 16 years and was the first from the force to be retired to The Horse Trust two years ago.
In addition to policing football matches, daily patrols and public order duties, Pern took part in high-profile state occasions, including The Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations and Remembrance Day parades.
Sadly, his happy retirement was cut short at the age of 22, when vets could no longer keep him comfortable from the effects of unmanageable arthritic pain.
Sgt Andy Cross, from Northumbria’s mounted division, said: “The work of a police horse can be very demanding and we are pleased that Pern had the opportunity to have a well-earned rest after his long and dedicated service to the force and the people of the region.”
The Horse Trust, which provides a retirement for horses who have served their country in police and armed forces, said Pern was a true gentleman who adored attention.
Jeanette Allen, chief executive of the trust, said: “He had an uncanny knack of making it into the picture whenever a camera crew visited and appeared on TV on several occasions.
“Everyone at the trust will miss Pern. His winning mixture of handsome good looks and adorable temperament melted hearts. He was a big and beautiful character and will be hugely missed.
“It is such a shame that after his years of public service, he couldn’t enjoy a healthy retirement beyond the two happy years he spent with us, and his new friends among our many retired police and army horses.”