The Horse Trust has paid tribute to much-loved resident Caesar, who passed away late last month, aged 23. The former police horse retired to the charity after years of service.

Caesar was an 18.2hh Shire who was originally heading for a career pulling traditional drays and carts at county shows under the name, Oliver, but his life took a different turn when he entered the Thames Valley Police force where he was given the new title PH Caesar.

He soon lived up to the glory of his new name, working on patrols around Thames Valley. During his career, Caesar attended many public order commitments, working nationwide, and amassed quite a fan club and was regularly recognised when out working.

A courageous police horse, Caesar was mildly injured several times by missiles or other debris thrown by violent crowds during his role and yet this did not stop Caesar from recovering and returning to his duties every time. Another of his important roles each year was providing close protection security for the late Queen Elizabeth II at Royal Ascot during the Royal Procession. Caesar was even deployed to assist with various security operations involving the government and counter terrorism patrols at identified target locations.

Ceasar retired after 10 years of service due to lameness issues. He was formally retired at the Thames Valley Police Open Day in 2016 and arrived ready for retirement with a spring in his step at The Horse Trust.

“We are so proud to have given him seven amazing years of retirement, where he has enjoyed continuing his celebrity lifestyle without the day job,” said a spokesperson for the charity. “Of course, with his notoriety Caesar was an obvious candidate for our sponsorship scheme and his many fans have very kindly supported his retirement by sponsoring the great Caesar throughout his life here with us. He even had his own day, Caesar Sunday, when he would come in to meet all his many enthusiasts. Despite the clamour and devotion from his supporters and all of us who work here at The Horse Trust, Caesar never let it go to his head and remained his cool, calm and collected self throughout his retirement.”

Originally retired to the charity with lameness issues, Caesar’s arthritis has been carefully managed by their Veterinary Director, but unfortunately, as Caesar’s condition deteriorated he began to struggle to lay down and get back up, especially due to his size.

“Our vigilant grooms noticed that this was becoming more frequent for poor Caesar and after a couple of incidents of him needing lots of encouragement to stand, it was decided that to protect his quality of life, the kindest thing to do was to help Caesar cross the rainbow bridge and say goodbye for the final time,” the spokesperson continued.

“An honest and hardworking horse with a heart of gold who served the public for an entire decade and gave such great joy to all he met, we know that many of our supporters will feel Caesar’s loss as keenly as our team here in Buckinghamshire and those who worked with him at Thames Valley Police. We find ourselves at a loss without our gentle giant but know that we must find the strength and courage that Caesar himself showed throughout his career to carry on caring for these beautiful horses who each have such unique stories and personalities.

“We find comfort that Caesar is at peace and will no longer know pain, reunited with his friends who have gone before him on that tranquil journey across the rainbow bridge to unending green pastures. For one final time, All Hail Caesar, may he rest in peace.”

Lead image by Amanda Jane Smith Photography

Related articles