Circus mount takes starring role with Met Police

An Irish-born circus mount has had to pack in the horsing around to take up his new role policing the streets of the capital.

Black gelding Lorcan has traded in his role as part of a ballet troupe in a travelling circus to help keep the peace with West Hampstead’s mounted police unit during the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

But it has not all been plane sailing for a horse who was more at home performing a Spanish dressage walk than facing down crowds of football hooligans and demonstrators.

In the early days of training the formidable 17.1 hands steed would break into a jig when faced with even the smallest of crowds.

His rider Pc Claire Twigg said: “He was in great shape when he joined us, as all the performing had made him very athletic and well maintained.

As part of his police training we did have to train a lot of the performing moves out of him.

“When he first started, the minute he saw a crowd of people, he would start to perform. This may have been very entertaining in his old post but the rearing up aspect, in particular is something that we need police horses not to do.”

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Lorcan was spotted by a police scout at a county fair in Sussex four years ago where the mount was up to his usual tricks, entertaining the crowds with his athletic ability and fleet-footed performing.

The Met Police snapped up the Shire cross Trakehner, who had been touring with Jive Pony, a female equestrian display team and he has been in training ever since to be made ready for duty.

With his background of performing alongside fire-breathers and gymnasts, the 11-year-old mount is not phased by large, busy crowds at Wembley Stadium or Notting Hill Carnival, but it has taken time to tame his entertainer’s spirit.