Met chief says horses targeted in ‘despicable’ Million Mask violence

Featured Image: Embassy – one of the force’s oldest horses – sustained injuries to his side, fetlock and front leg when startled by a protester throwing a firework. Source: Daily Mail.

Cross-posted from The Guardian

Police chiefs have condemned the “despicable” violence at Thursday’s Million Mask march, in which four police officers were injured and several horses were targeted.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan police commissioner, said some protesters had asked others to stop targeting the animals, but he denied that the attacks at the 1,000-strong march were down to the actions of a small minority. He said the march had tied up the resources of nearly 2,000 officers.

“My officers have worked very hard in the face of some incredibly challenging and even violent circumstances,” Hogan-Howe said. “Last night, my officers were well and truly in the front line. Fortunately, the four injured officers are doing OK. The most seriously injured was a mounted officer who was thrown from his horse, Embassy, after they had fireworks thrown at them in the Mall.”

Embassy, one of the force’s oldest horses, was startled and bolted after a firework was thrown, and his rider was taken to hospital with a broken wrist. Six police horses were injured during the violence.

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Silver medal winning Olympic horse seized

Dutch rider Gerco Schroder heads toward an Olympic silver medal aboad London. © 2012 Ken Braddick/

Well, we know that three gold medal winning dressage horses at the 2012 Olympics in London are for sale, reasons unknown except perhaps they have accomplished all they were set out to do.

Now a silver medal winning show jumper named London finds himself in a spot of bother along with some other horses belonging to the same person or corporate entity.

An Examiner article reports:

“LONDON (Aug. 12, 2012) — Sad news out of London today. The 10 year old Belgian stallion named London, ridden by [Dutch rider] Gerco Schroeder in the 2012 Olympics, and which took the silver in both team and individual show jumping has been seized due to bankruptcy proceedings by the owners. The horse, along with other horses owned by the same company was seized shortly after the conclusion of the jumping competition.

“Just before the weekend, the FEI database was changed to show the ownership of the horses has been transferred to Sileste B.V. Earlier this year, London and other horses were sold to Gevi International, B.V., owned by Ger Visser Jr., son of Eurocommerce owner Ger Visser. This leaves the courts attempting to determine if the stables is part of the Eurocommerce real estate bankruptcy proceedings.

“Once the court determines that the equine part of the company is not involved in the bankruptcy of the real estate company, the horse may be sold.

“Sources state that London is currently at the stables of Ben Maher, of the Olympic gold medal team for Great Britain. Rumor has it that Ben Mahar’s sponsor is interested in buying London. London is apparently valued at approximately 10 million euros.”

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That’s about how much the gold medal winning horses are each going for.

Wow, what riches these horses have earned and looks like they will continue to earn. There are not many people in the world I would think whocan afford to pay 10 million in any currency for a single horse.


Hopefully the show jumping fans will not be as excitable as the dressage fans when commenting, that’s if they find their way here. — Ed.

Memo from Rafalca: Can’t a horse prance in peace?

RAFALCA by Markus Schreiber AP.

Memo to those making hay out of my human employers: Hay is for horses, and we all do what we need to do

Cross-posted from

RAFALCA by Markus Schreiber AP.
Rafalca is ridden by Jan Ebeling from United States during the equestrian dressage competition, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, on Aug. 2, 2012, in London. Photograph by Markus Schreiber/AP Photo.


Dear Humans,

Let me start by apologizing for any typos, I’m writing this on a touch screen and my stable is rather dark.

It has come to my attention in recent months that I have become a bit of a joke. That’s fine, I have a thick coat. What is more troubling is that people seem genuinely angry at my mere existence. I’ve been booed, jeered and ranted about on your televisions. Many humans seem deeply invested in me. I don’t like that.

I’m just a horse, I didn’t ask for any of this, this is just my job and in this economy you take what you can get and hold on to it as tightly as possible. Do I want to be a dancing horse? Think about that question for a second. How many horses do you know love dancing like humans? Continue reading >>

The horses of London have now been blessed

Cross-posted from the Londonist

On Sunday, 20th September 2009, young and old gathered at a quiet corner of London to witness the Blessing of the Horses at St. John’s, Hyde Park.

Reverend Stephen Mason recounted the history of this ‘ancient’ tradition and referenced a passive from Job regarding the respect our horses deserve. Now to all those naysayers out there who like to point out that Horseman’s Sunday has only officially occurred for 42 years, the Reverend reminded us that the blessing of animals is an old military custom.

After avidly trying to steal sugar cubes from riders’ pockets attentively listening to the service, the horses marched around Hyde Park Crescent and were then individually blessed.

Photographs from the event below. Click on thumbnails to enlarge. How sweet it is.


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