Hope In Tottenham, working in association with North Area’s Primary Schools officers PCs Graham and Charlotte Bell, invited members of the mounted branch to St Paul’s and All Hallows School in N17.

In another famous Mounted Branch visit, HiT, working with officers, PC Marshall and PC Ferguson, brought Police Horses Verdun and Ullswater to meet the classes of St Pauls and All Hallows.

Small children stand in front of two mounted police horses.

Students got a change of scene when they stepped out onto the playground that morning.

The students of the two primary schools took turns asking a question, getting to learn about the horses.  Living at Bow Stables and eating hay, the children also learned that they are similar in age to the horses, as Ullswater is nine years old and Verdun, ten.

A teacher pets a mounted police horse.

Students and teachers got a chance to pet the horses.

The officers explained that the horses in the MPS have a very important job to do – they help look for missing people, control crowds at football matches and that sitting up high on a horse gives the officer a much better view. The children were shown how the horses are trained to walk backwards or sideways and were fascinated that PH Verdun had been a cavalry horse in the army. They were also very excited to be told that both horses sometimes guard on duty outside Buckingham Palace!

PC Ferguson told Hope in Tottenham that she loved doing school visits and remembered mounted officers coming to her own primary school. Some pupils were curious to know how you join the mounted branch and PC Marshall said he had only been on a horse a few times when he applied to work with police horses so he had to do a long, special riding course before he could start

SPAH Head of Juniors Andries Du Toit said “Seeing a police horse is one thing. Being able to ask any questions and touch them is another level entirely. You cannot put a price on it. This help our pupils see the police as friends who can be approached. This is exactly how we want our chlidren to be with the police.”

All year groups were given the opportunity to stroke the horses after the Q & A and right at the end the staff including Head Ms Christalla Jamil gave the horses some well-earned apples as a treat.

Hope in Tottenham would like to thank the staff and pupils of SPAH for their enthusiasm and PH Verdun and Ullswater along with their riders PC Marshall and Ferguson for making the children’s day.

By Christina Davis, Police Engagement.