There’s some new hooves at Ring Farm in Cudworth as our mounted department have welcomed new horse and ‘local lad’ PH Wortley to the team.
PH Wortley, also known around the farm as Sully, is a four-year-old Shire who stands at 17.2hh. Although most horses reach their full adult height by four and five years old, larger heavy breeds don’t stop growing until they’re around six years old, meaning that over the next couple of years PH Wortley could take the title for the biggest horse in the team from PH Hoyland (Henry) who stands at 18hh.
Following an appeal to find a new horse earlier this year, a local woman got in touch to say she thought her horse ‘Soloman’ had potential.
All horses that join our mounted unit have to pass a four-week trial to ensure they have the correct temperament and potential to be a police horse. It’s a demanding job with exposure to situations the average horse would never see.
PC Sally Bellamy has been partnered up with PH Wortley, and with a wealth of riding experience she is on hand to teach him all about being a police horse.
She tells us more about him: “Our horses don’t sit an interview or a test like we do, but they have to show us that he is brave, inquisitive, laid back and not fazed by what can usually be a scary experience for a horse.
“At only four years old he has maturity beyond his years, in the past five weeks he has showed us how ‘bombproof’ he is. He has been around all types of traffic and machinery, which is a large part of what we do and our horses must remain sensible. He’s been on patrol in all of our city and town centres, taking in all the sights and sounds, and fuss from shoppers!
“He’s a cheeky and playful boy who shows an interest in everything. He’s affectionate and already has a piece of my heart.”
Our mounted officers do make arrests – they always patrol in pairs or more, which enables the second officer to hold the horses while a stop search or an arrest takes place. While on patrol in Doncaster city centre PH Wortley had his first arrest; a woman suspected of shoplifting.
PC Bellamy continued: “A man suspected of shoplifting was fleeing the shops while we were on patrol.
“I immediately asked PH Wortley to trot on and chase after the man, requesting him to stop. PH Wortley didn’t hesitate, left the other horses and did everything I asked of him.
“After arresting the man and returning to the horsebox after our patrol, I sat there watching PH Wortley eat his hay and thought, ‘I can’t believe that five weeks ago you were in a field as a companion horse and now you’re a police horse already showing you have a great career ahead of you’.”
All horses must pass a 5* vetting, an in-depth examination by a vet to ensure they are fit and well. PH Wortley has also had his coat clipped, new shoes, completed his ‘nuisance training’ and done his first jump.
PC Bellamy added: “As well as already making an impression among officers and staff, he’s made quite the impact in the field, forming friendships with new best friend PH Brinsworth (Billy) and PH Foggy and Bawtry.
“I’m excited to see him learn and develop in his new job.”
Sully’s previous owner Becky said: “I am so pleased that Sully has found his forever home with South Yorkshire Police.
“I am so proud to see him on patrol, looking after the communities of South Yorkshire, and after visiting him earlier this week can see how happy and well cared for he is.
“He’s a sweet boy, who I know will be a great police horse.”
You can follow PH Wortley’s progress on the SYP Operational Support Facebook and Twitter pages and the SYPHorses Instagram account.
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