THE Horse Trust in Speen has welcomed four new horses, from the recently disbanded Cleveland Mounted Police Unit.

But it was a sad day for the region as the section's officers, grooms and volunteers accompanied the horses on the 250 mile drive to their new home.

After their final journey together they settled the horses in before saying an emotional farewell to the mounts that had served them faithfully for so many years.

Police horses Reg, Alfie, Roman and Joey joined fellow Cleveland police horse, Big Klyde, who retired to The Horse Trust in July 2012.

PC Chris Bancroft said: "I am over the moon the horses have come here. I would rather they came here than anywhere else. "We always knew what a great place this was, and we were thrilled when Big Klyde came here for his retirement. The Horse Trust is a true working horse's utopia."

Cleveland Police announced in June it would be disbanding its mounted section in a bid to save £88,000 a year.

They approached The Horse Trust, who specialise in providing respite and retirement for working horses who have served their country and community in the police and military, and the charity was happy to help.

The section is the latest in a number of mounted branches to have been disbanded across the country due to increasing financial pressures with Humberside Police Mounted Section set to close next year.

In 2012 the charity gave new homes to Trojan and Patrick from the Essex Police Mounted Section when they disbanded. Alfie, Reg and Roman had served for more than five years.

They were regularly seen on daily patrols in the Cleveland area and policed football hundreds of football matches at Middlesborough FC.

The youngest horse Joey had been with the mounted section for two years and was still in training.

Jeanette Allen, chief executive of The Horse Trust said: "We are pleased to have been able to help Cleveland Mounted Police Section by providing a specialist home for these brave and hardworking horses.

"Police horses Alfie, Reg, Roman and Joey will be joining fellow Cleveland Police horse Big Klyde and our family of retired, working horses that have served their country and community and those less fortunate rescued animals that come to us in need for urgent care.

"All of the horses have settled in really well, especially Alf who is so laid back he is acting like he has been here forever." The charity relies entirely on public donations to care for these horses. Pledge your support by writing a message or making a donation at