A treasured police horse has retired from the force at the age of 17.

Percy joined the Northumbria Police Mounted Section in 2014 and had been an integral member of the team throughout his career.

As well as his daily patrols, Percy worked busy football matches, attended countless protests around the area and played an important role in numerous searches for missing people.

Percy also travelled up and down the country to police sporting spectacles and public events further afield.

The 17.2hh part-bred Friesian was often a crowd favourite and was always turning heads with his striking looks.

“It is a sad day for Northumbria as one of our most loyal police horses heads for pastures new at the grand age of 17,” said a police spokesman on 7 March.

“Now it is time for Percy to enjoy a well-earned retirement with plenty of treats and lots of rolling around in the field after seven years’ service in the force.”

Percy will enjoy his retirement with retired Mounted Constable Michelle Alexander and his former equine colleague, Peroni.

Percy’s rider, PC Joanne Watson, paid tribute to her four-legged best friend.

“Percy is a good honest horse,” she said. “He has shown bravery and affection throughout his career.

“Like all of our horses, he has provided support in all major public order events such as football matches and protests but also represented the force at community events, such as school visits and leading parade’s through our city centres.

“Percy will be joining his old colleague Peroni who retired last year, both being looked after by retired Mounted Constable Michelle Alexander where he will be enjoying a well-deserved rest.

“We are always looking out for new horses to join the team so if you think you have an equine that could start a new life as a crime fighter, then get in touch!”

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