‘Big Softy’ Stan, South Yorkshire’s new police horse, reports for duty

A new horse, named PH Swinton, also known as Stan, became the latest addition to South Yorkshire Police Operational Support team with his rider, PC Hudson.

Stan is an Irish Draught, standing at 16.3hh and is only 4 years old, so is expected to continue growing throughout his time at the force.

South Yorkshire Police’s newest four-legged addition is paired with his dedicated and experienced rider, PC Michelle Hudson.

PC Hudson said: “I am extremely pleased to be paired with Stan, he is a lovely horse who I can see has great potential.”

She went on further to describe Stan as “brave, courageous, inquisitive, as well as a big softy who loves a fuss from shoppers and passers-by.”

The South Yorkshire Police horses can often be spotted out on the streets of Sheffield whilst on patrol. SYP said: “We take pride in our horses being turned out to a high standard and Stan has already had his new shoes fitted by the farrier, his saddle checked, his first bath and clip, as well as passing his 5-star vetting.”

PH Swinton received a warm welcome from the public after he was announced, with many wishes of good luck.

One Facebook user said: “Love seeing the horses out and about, just wish there were more of them and see them more often. Good luck and stay safe.”

Another user appreciated Stan’s beauty by saying: “Truly a stunning horse. So so beautiful good luck out there Stan and you and Michelle take care.”

According to an investigation by RAND Europe, mounted police patrols are associated with higher levels of visibility, trust and confidence in police.

They also found they generate six times as many casual engagements than foot officers, such as greetings and brief exchanges, meaning they help form a closer relationship between the police and the public.

Police horses have a tough and demanding job on patrol, being exposed to stressful and intense situations that the average horse would never see.

PC Hudson said Stan has “stolen the hearts of officers and our grooms” and that they will “hopefully see you out on patrol around South Yorkshire.”

You can follow PH Swinton on the SYP Operational Support Facebook and Twitter pages and the SYPHorses Instagram account @syphorses

Written by Emily Taylor

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