A man and his hero horse. (Photo: Courtesy of Metropolitan Horse)
When London exploded in riots last summer, Boris was there. Hostile crowds, burning buildings and improvised projectiles did not disturb the gray gelding from Yorkshire. In fact, Boris’s “bomb-proof” poise and confidence gave other mounted police horses the confidence to follow him into the fray. No stranger to 16-hour days, Boris calmly advanced through the chaos in his quest to help injured people.
Now Boris is being awarded for his bravery.
New Zealand’s Horsetalk reports that the gallant steed has been selected for The Special Hero Award at the annual Burgess Wetnose Animal Rescue Awards. Wetnose Animal Aid, which selected Boris for the award, is a nonprofit organization that cares for and “re-homes” abandoned, neglected, and unwanted animals in rescue centers across Britain.
His rider, Constable Paul Copeland, is thrilled with the recognition.
“Boris is always willing, eager to please, gentle, laid back, brave as a lion, good to work and always a first choice when difficult deployments are anticipated,” Copeland explained. Boris joined the police force in November 1998 at the tender age of four. When selected to train for the Metropolitan Police, Boris had never even been ridden. Although he’s come a long way from the humble fields of Yorkshire where he frolicked as a colt, Boris’s career has always mixed the exalted and the everyday.
“[Boris] is truly an outstanding police horse whether leading Her Majesty The Queen's State processions, meeting and greeting children from deprived backgrounds, dealing with outbreaks of serious public disorder, or simply patrolling the streets providing reassurance to London's population,” Copeland said.