Scotland's longest serving police horse begins retirement

One of Scotland's most decorated police horses is set for a well-earned retirement after nearly two decades assisting police at some of the most high-profile events in the country.

Iona the police horse. Picture: Twitter/PolScotHorses

Iona, who is 22, is set to head to a new home in Buckinghamshire to enjoy some rest and recuperation after spending three-quarters of her life helping Scotland’s police force.

Iona, a bay mare who is 17 hands high, will travel to the Horses’s Trust charity’s Home of rest in the south-east county.

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She has helped police at local and national events, including the London Olympics, the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and protecting world leaders at the G8 conference in 2005.

Iona’s most memorable job was being on the Hampden pitch in 2016 after the cup final between Rangers and Hibs descended into chaos following a post-match pitch invasion.

The horse has recently escorted newly serving horses to acclimatise them to patrol work.

“Iona has impeccable manners and isn’t fazed by the situation, she loves the public and really enjoys humans making a fuss of her,” PC Claire Hunter, to whom Iona was assigned, told the Herald.

Jeanette Allen, CEO of The Horse Trust, said; “We are thrilled to have Iona join us.