Veteran Thames Valley Police horse Clyde is retired

Clyde and Sgt John Thurston
Image caption Clyde has been a working police horse for 17 years

A long-serving Thames Valley Police horse is beginning his retirement after 17 years of service with the force.

Clyde, a thoroughbred Clydesdale cross, has been involved in policing demonstrations, football matches and riots.

He has escorted heads of state visiting the Queen at Windsor Castle and received a royal commendation in recognition of his long service.

Sgt John Thurston called him "a very brave horse".

Clyde was bought by Thames Valley Police in January 1994 from Broadstone Stud in north Oxfordshire.

The average working life of a police horse is about nine years and Sgt Thurston said he had started to struggle with the demands of police work recently.

"He's had everything thrown at him - petrol bombs, flares, bottles - and nothing bothers him. We often used him as the lead horse as he's so brave and responsive," he added.

Clyde will spend his retirement at a sanctuary for rescued and retired working horses run by The Horse Trust in Speen, Buckinghamshire.

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