A police horse has received an award for his heroic service in last summer’s disturbances.
Boris, who lives at the Met’s King’s Cross stables, led a mounted police unit through burning debris and rioters hurling missiles on Tottenham High Road last August. He was the first horse on the scene, and served a 26-hour shift.
His rider PC Paul Copeland, said: “He’s as brave as they come.”
The horse received the Special Hero Award from animal-rescue charity, Wetnose Animal Aid, and pet food company Burgess.
Dame Judi Dench attended the star-studded awards ceremony last week.
Boris is one of seven horses at the stables on King’s Cross road, which serves the mounted police for Camden, Hackney and Westminster, as well as Islington. The Met has around 150 police horses in total.
At 18 years old, Boris is a seasoned member of the force, and unflappable, according to his rider. The conditions on the first night of the rioting in Tottenham were extreme, explained PC Copeland: “Anything that you can think of was getting thrown. He had chair across his back.”
Not all his duties are so gritty. Boris was recently chosen as one of four horses to lead the Queen’s procession for the opening of Parliament, and he will be involved in the Diamond Jubilee. Football matches are another regular gig.
He is not named after his ultimate governor, the Mayor of London, but got his name when all the horses taken on by the Met in 1998 had to have names starting with ‘B’.
Boris also shares an unruly flaxen hairstyle with the Mayor, which he hates having cut.