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Brussels police looking for homes for five retiring horses

16:45 11/09/2020

The Brussels mounted police are looking for five good homes for horses that have reached the end of their careers. The horses can no longer be ridden and so just require a spot to graze away, alone or with other horses.

Police horses tend to retire somewhere in their 20s after 18 or 20 years of service. Sometime they are retired simply because they have gotten old but sometimes they have developed arthritis from being constantly ridden on hard surfaces such as streets and squares.

Anyone interested in adopting Swing, Relfe, Withby, Der Loewe or King II is asked to contact the federal police. But you can’t just put one in your back garden. Requirements include sturdy fencing, a stable of at least nine square metres and a field of at least half a hectare.

Marie-Josée Vanderperren, however, goes a few steps further. She has been taking in retired horses for than three decades on her property in Flemish Brabant. “You really need at least a full hectare,” she told VRT. “Police horses are brushed every day and very well cared for, so you can’t just put it in a field and ignore it. That daily contact and care remains important.”

Photo ©Jonas Van Boxel/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw