Czech warmblood Patrick has a secret he’s now prepared to share, following his retirement from police duties in Britain.
His real name is Sharon.
In the Czech Republic, Sharon is a perfectly respectable man’s name.
He travelled on his EU horse passport to Britain for his new career under the name Sharon, but officers decided a name change would be appropriate to police the streets of Britain.
They decided on Patrick, or Paddy.
Patrick retired from the Essex Police mounted division and headed for The Horse’s Trust sanctuary in Buckinghamshire at the end of October.
He is only 12, but was retired due to arthritis and intermittent lameness in his back legs. Patrick started to become unpredictable on patrol and sometimes nearly fell.
Most of Patrick’s fellow police horses will be rehomed to other police forces or private homes across Britain.
Because Patrick can no longer be ridden, he was sent to The Horse Trust, where he will spend the rest of his days.
He had a varied career, performing all aspects of police work, at the Olympics, football matches, demonstrations, the Southend Air Show and the V Festival, as well as attending local community events and school visits as as part of his public duties.
Patrick has reportedly settled in well in his new surroundings, and is happy to be known as Patrick. His arthritis has not prevented him prancing around his pasture like a dressage champion half his age.
Patrick is happy with his rather more manly paddock name, and is only ever likely to revert to Sharon if he needs his passport to holiday in Spain or the south of France.