A Clydesdale horse with more than a decade of police service has arrived at his new home in the north-east to begin a new career.
For about 15 years, Lauder served on the frontline of crowd-control operations in Glasgow – regularly policing some of the city’s biggest football matches.
However, now he has arrived at charity Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses in Mulben, near Keith, to provide support for others alongside retired racehorses and showjumpers.
The Moray group provides equestrian experiences for people suffering from conditions including Parkinson’s disease and dementia as well as sessions to provide skills for those who have been unemployed for long periods and have barriers to securing jobs.
Yesterday charity chairwoman Frances Davies she expected Lauder to warm to his new role quickly.
She said: “He did various jobs for the police in Glasgow. He would have seen some incredible sights, I’m sure, but one of the main things he did was crowd control at the football.
“I’m told that he was quite popular with the fans who came in wheelchairs and they often brought him sweets – so he already really likes people in wheelchairs.
“We haven’t had a police horse before. It was the police who approached us because they had heard about our work, we’re delighted they think this will be a good home for Lauder.”
The Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses was formed 22 years ago to provide a home for aging animals as well as those suffering from injury or illness.
The group currently cares for 13 in their stables, ranging from three to 35 years old.
Sessions run by the charity include the Countryman’s Club, aimed at retired men who worked in the farming industry, Lark Rise, targeted towards women seeking work, and Blue Unicorns, which helps young people secure jobs.
Lauder will now pull carriages being steered by pensioners and be looked after by those learning new skills.
Mrs Davies added: “It’s a chance for older gentleman with conditions like Parkinson’s and dementia to get a taste for rural life again.
“We also use the horses to teach transferable skills to help people get into work by overcoming difficulties such as anxiety.
“The horses come have been rehomed from all kinds of different backgrounds, some have been rescued and rehabilitated, some have had bad injuries, but they can still bring joy to so many.”