When police horses reach the end of their careers with the Toronto Police Mounted Unit, it often takes time to find the perfect pasture for retirement. Sometimes the police officers even adopt the older horses themselves. But for Trooper, a 19-year-old Percheron/Hackney cross, it was a true ‘welcome back’ homecoming when he returned to his breeder’s farm to live out his days.

Adding a touch more sweetness to the tale is the fact that breeder Glen Lundy’s granddaughter is going to continue to be in Trooper’s life. According to a press release from the Toronto Police Service, Stephanie fell for the large gelding before he was sold to the Service in 2007. Now 25, she visited the Mounted Unit at the Horse Palace on Exhibition Grounds so she could reunite with the horse before he returned to her grandfather’s farm.

A white horse and black horse nuzzling.

This adorable photo shows Trooper nuzzling with his sister, Star, as he begins his retirement years. (Toronto Police Services)

Trooper has had a storied career: not only did he take part in countless crowd control events, but he was also part of the mounted escort for Queen Elizabeth II during her 2010 attendance at the Queen’s Plate. And he was a champion! During the 2012 North American Police Equestrian Council competition, Trooper and his rider won the William D. McCarthy Memorial Trophy awarded to the winner in the obstacles category. Trooper had the added distinction of being honoured ‘Top Horse’ at the competition. He also became the first and only police horse ever to win all five NAPEC competition categories.

“Trooper’s life has now gone full circle as he is now back home to reunite with his sister,” said Training Sergeant Kristopher McCarthy. “He was always a kind horse and fearless as he got more seasoned on the job.”