Police horse dies after collapsing at Notting Hill Carnival

Police horse PH Sandown dies at Notting Hill Carnival. 
Met Police/ PA
Police horse PH Sandown (left) died after collapsing at Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday, the Met said. Credit: Met Police/ PA

A police horse has died after collapsing at Notting Hill Carnival, the Met says.

Officers paid tribute to PH Sandown, who the force said died on duty during the west London carnival on Sunday, after collapsing at about 9pm.

The force said it is too early to determine the cause of death, adding there will be an investigation.

The Met released a statement on Monday confirming "with great sadness" that Sandown had suddenly died during the world famous carnival, which attracts crowds of millions.

The police horse was a 14-year-old chestnut gelding, who stood 16 hands high.

"He played an integral role in helping to police London," the Met's tribute said.

Met Police officers at the Notting Hill Carnival on Monday. Credit: PA

"He was one of the Met’s most experienced horses, with an impeccable seven-year police career.

"PH Sandown was gifted to the Met in 2015 and his good nature quickly won over officers. He was the go-to horse to help new officers grow in confidence as they went through their training.

"A pro at policing all types of events across London, he demonstrated his bravery and courageousness at numerous football fixtures whilst also being selected to perform at the Mounted Activity Ride at Olympia, and the Mounted Musical Ride.

"Police horses are working animals, but PH Sandown was also an affectionate character who was full of personality. He loved his food and was always nuzzling in pockets looking for treats.

Performers at the Notting Hill Carnival on Monday, as it returned to the streets for the first time in two years.

"PH Sandown was a massive part of the Mounted Branch family and was loved dearly. He will be sorely missed by all."

The carnival returned to the streets of London for the first time in two years, over the August bank holiday weekend.

The carnival had been paused since the pandemic struck.

The event is renowned around the world for its celebration of Caribbean culture and entertainment.

Millions were expected to attend the carnival over the course of the two-day festival, spanning Sunday and Monday.

Revellers praised the return of the popular event.

Pam Small, 54, came from the US for the carnival and was dressed in yellow feathers and an intricate sparkly costume.

She has been travelling to the UK for the carnival for nine years and is elated to be back after Covid.

She said: “I love everything about it. The people, the culture, the diversity – it’s really special to be here.”

Clayde Tavernier, 23, was wearing a blue-feathered crown and bystanders stopped to dance and take photos with him.

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The Dominican dancer, who attends every year, said: “Carnival is the time to be myself, to express who I am. I came all the way from Dominica to be here and to have fun.”

On day one of the carnival, two people were injured when a bus shelter collapsed in the Ladbroke Grove area.

Several people were seen standing and dancing on top of it before the incident, with those watching heard to gasp and exclaim in shock as the group fell through the top of the shelter.

The two people affected suffered minor injuries and did not need further treatment, police said.