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From farm to force

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By Fiona Reid
From farm to force

LOCKERBIE the police horse has come a long way from his early life grazing in fields at Hightae.

For the 17.2 hand bay gelding Clydesdale cross is a key part of Police Scotland’s crime-fighting team.

He was born in June 2008 and named JG’s Jim Lad, Jim for Short.

But that moniker was changed when he was purchased by the force in 2013, following a successful 28-day trial period.

All Police Scotland horses are renamed after towns and cities in Scotland, so his handlers decided it was only fitting that he was named Lockerbie, in recognition of his birthplace.

One of Lockerbie’s first big official events was the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Due to Lockerbie being a “people horse”, he loved being in and around the large crowds and he was happy to walk away on his own through the city streets – a big change from his field in Hightae – as he was always hopeful that someone would have something for him to eat in their bag!”

Further describing his duties, she added: “Police Horse Lockerbie has attended all senior football stadiums in Scotland and Murrayfield where he has been involved in a variety of duties including general crowd management, assisting supporters to queue safely and appropriately as they wait to enter the stadium and dealing with all levels of disorder, where he is more than happy to get involved even when fireworks and flares are going off around him.”

On a daily basis Lockerbie patrols the streets of many towns and cities, mainly in the West of Scotland, however, he has been on patrol in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen for football and other events.

Furthermore, he has been involved in numerous aspects of police work including incidents of disorder, protests and demonstrations, and also attends community events where he will either provide a demonstration of his skills or abilities, or just stand there letting the public pat and admire him.

When not needed, he gets a rest day and in the better weather he gets to roam around the paddocks at the Mounted Unit base in Stewarton.

He’s also involved in helping train police officers to become new members of the Mounted Unit, which involves 16 weeks of equitation training.

The spokeswoman said: “During this time, Police Horse Lockerbie will be used frequently as he enjoys being in the riding school, especially when jumping which he loves most of all.

“He is a superb horse and an asset to Police Scotland.”

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