Super Trooper his size is going to surprise you: GMP’s Mounted Unit welcome new horse to their family

Greater Manchester Police have recently added a new horse to their Tactical Mounted Unit (TMU), and he goes by the name of Trooper.

The 10-year-old Shire horse was formerly known as Joey. However, due to tradition in the Mounted Unit, he has been renamed Trooper, based on a character from a Charles Dickens novel.

His arrival is a significant one for the TMU as Trooper is now the biggest horse GMP have ever had in the history of the force, measuring in at 18.2 hands (the measurement from the ground to the top of the horse’s shoulders).

Due to his size, the TMU had to make adjustments for Trooper, including his stable, horse box, bridle (headgear) and saddle being made bigger than the other horses.

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Trooper has been with the TMU for almost six weeks. This is a fraction of the time required for Equine Trainers Alistair Hunstone and Kay Livesey to get him fully operational with GMP.

“It can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years for a horse to become a fully operational police horse,” Alistair said.

During this process, Trooper will be trained at Hough End Police Station in the indoor arena and out on patrol. He will start off in quieter areas around Greater Manchester, before working his way up to busier ones.

“It’s a matter of now getting him out more on the roads, to football grounds, meeting crowds of people and assessing how he responds to us,” Alistair noted.

If the public do see Trooper patrolling in their area his size shouldn’t put them off coming to say hello. He’s been described as a ‘gentle giant’ and a horse who ‘adores attention from people’.

Once fully operational, Trooper will have several duties in the TMU, including high visibility patrols, assisting with managing public order, helping officers with intelligence gathering and taking part in community events such as school visits. Due to his size, this should give his rider an advantage when working in crowded areas.