Eastwood, also known as Noddy, has served his last day in the force yesterday, being forced to stand down from duty due to health issues.
Noddy, a 17hh Irish Sports horse, joined South Yorkshire Police in October 2016 as an eight year old. He had previously lived a quiet life in Cheshire and after being spotted for sale, joined the other horses at Ring Farm, Cudworth for a life of love, dedication and happiness.
Described as being a big friendly giant and the kindest police horse you will meet, Noddy has had to take early retirement due to long term health issues with his leg.
After extensive veterinary care, it was decided that it would not be safe or fair for Noddy to continue his policing career.
PC Lindsay Crew has been Noddy’s main rider for the past two years.
Heartbroken to see him go, she said: “Noddy is nothing less than a perfect gentleman, he has the most impeccable manners and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.
“He has never been the bravest police horse, he always liked to follow the others, but he put his heart into everything you asked of him.
“Once I gained his trust, he would take confidence from me as a rider to be brave and face the challenges of everyday policing.
“I am sad to see Noddy go but it is in the best interests for him and also for our team. I know he will be loved and cared for in his new home and live a spoilt and cared for life.”
Each horse at Ring Farm is named after an area of South Yorkshire, but each horse is also given a stable name. Noddy got his nickname from always nodding his head.
Like many of us, he doesn’t like the rain and especially not when it was touching his nose!
Throughout Noddy’s three years’ service he attended many local schools, policed football matches and concerts, and patrolled his local areas including Eastwood, protecting and serving the public.
But out of the sadness, comes happiness.
A groom, who knows Noddy well, including his routine, character and what he requires as part of his on-going care has adopted Noddy to live on her farm and keep her other horses company. He has already made new friends and lives close enough for officers, including Lindsay to visit.
A police spokesman said: “Noddy has left big hoof prints to fill at the farm but we wish him happiness in his retirement and thank him for his service.”
You can keep up to date with the horses and new recruits by following the SYP Horses Instagram page @SYPHorses.