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Life-saving op for retired police horse

He has policed student riots, football matches and state funerals, so a break was on the cards for a brave London police horse. But 17-year-old Chiswick has spent his retirement having serious surgery.

Vets noticed there was something wrong when the horse went right off his food and started losing weight rapidly.

Ria Chatterjee has his story.

"He spent a lifetime bravely serving London"

Chiswick taking it easy in Buckinghamshire Credit: ITN

PC Mick Wass, his rider during his time at the Met, said, "Chiswick has always liked to think he is the one in charge, but he has always looked after me."

Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust, said: "Chiswick is a real hero and it is a privilege to be able to provide him with a dignified retirement after spending a lifetime bravely serving the people of London."


Hero police horse recovering after op

Chiswick recovering in Buckinghamshire Credit: ITN

Chiswick spent 12 years tirelessly protecting the people of London. He jumped burning barricades during the student riots in 2010, acted as mounted escort to the Queen's Life Guard, performed Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and took part in the Royal Wedding in 2011.

He also attended the London 2012 Olympics and even featured in the 2002 Bond film Die Another Day'. He recently arrived at The Horse Trust, a Buckinghamshire-based charity, where he will enjoy a hard-earned retirement.

Although Chiswick's days of policing riots and football matches are behind him he is now facing his biggest ever challenge after he suffered a potentially life-threatening infection and had to undergo emergency surgery to help save him.

His grooms raised the alarm when they noticed that the cheeky 17 year old seemed very quiet and had started to rapidly lose weight; he was struggling to eat and kept dropping food from his mouth after a few bites.

CT scans showed that Chiswick had a serious infection in the root of his tooth which had spread to his sinuses and emergency surgery followed. The infection could have been life threatening if it had spread.

It's now hoped that the brave horse will make a full recovery.