Spectators of all ages took part in a ceremony at Wellington monument on Thursday (5 March) as Avon and Somerset police horse (PH), previously known as Rolo, was officially named after the market town of Wellington in Somerset.
The newly qualified member of the mounted section, alongside stablemate PH Trinity, led a parade of pupils from Wellesley Park and St John’s Primary Schools, many dressed in their ‘Mini Police’ uniforms, along the Avenue to the Wellington Monument for the ceremony.
They were joined by town councillors, staff from the National Trust, secondary school pupils from Court Fields, pre-school children from Bouncy Bears Childcare and a considerable number of local residents, all of whom braved the morning rain to be part of the ceremony.
Under the shadow of the monument, the police horse and his rider Hannah Clark were presented with a horse rug bearing the crests of the town and Avon and Somerset police, by Mayor, Councillor Janet Lloyd, as she officially re-named him “Wellington”.
“Wellington is honoured to have its town and monument linked with one of Avon and Somerset’s Police Horses. This is an exciting occasion in the town’s history and we are grateful to everyone who has come along to be part of the event.” Councillor Lloyd said.
Mounted Section Sergeant Ed Amor said: “Naming our horse Wellington in tribute to one of our most rural areas will help ensure the town is frequently mentioned in relation to its police force and helps demonstrate its importance to us.
“Wellington is progressing towards being an excellent police horse and will be of great value to us as he goes about his work helping to control crowds, patrolling communities to reduce crime and provide reassurance, searching for missing people in open areas and in his counter-terrorism, community engagement and ceremonial duties.
“We are grateful for the warm welcome and support Wellington has received as he steps up to the next stage in his career as a police horse. We will endeavour to ensure he makes the town after which he is named extremely proud.”
It is traditional for the mounted section of Avon and Somerset Police to name its horses after places or people who are important and significant to the force area. Wellington joins area-named police horses Blaise, Clifton, Mendip, Quantock, Somerset and Trinity. He will also work alongside Jubilee and Windsor (both of whom were named by Her Majesty The Queen during previous visits to Somerset) and newest recruits Hero and LJ who are yet to receive their official names.
Emma Jones, Community fundraiser and engagement officer for Wellington Monument says, “We are thrilled that the naming ceremony took place at the monument. It is the tallest three-sided obelisk in the world and was built after the Duke of Wellington’s success at the Battle of Waterloo.”