Former show horse starts second career with the Police and is named in memory of youngster struck by lightening

A former show horse from West Yorkshire has been recruited to Lancashire Police Mounted Section and named in memory of a kindhearted youngster.

The 18hh former show horse has been named in tribute to Jordan Sykes the kind hearted youngster who was killed by lightening

The 18hh gelding, has been named Banks as a tribute to nine-year-old Jordan Banks who died in May after being struck by lightning while he was playing football near his home in Blackpool.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Jordan had touched the hearts of many of our officers after anonymously leaving sweet treats on police cars to cheer officers up at the start of the pandemic.

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“We managed to track him down and had intended to reward his kindness by inviting him into our Mounted and Dogs units for a visit, but sadly this was never able to happen.

“Our thoughts have been with Jordan’s family and friends ever since.

“Instead of the visit and to pay tribute to him, we have named our newest police horse Banks in his memory.”

Banks, who was formerly known as Fred, has come from a home in West Yorkshire where he enjoyed hacking out and was shown to county level.

“He loves attention and likes to say good morning to people by popping his head out of the door each morning,” the spokesman said.

Adding that Banks also liked “the occasional mint” but can’t have too many to keep his teeth nice and clean.

Banks has been described as kind, friendly and laid-back and apparently loves getting attention from his human colleagues.

Temporary chief superintendent Wendy Bower, of the Lancashire Police tactical operations team, said the name had been chosen to express the force’s gratitude to Jordan.

“We hope this lets Jordan’s family know how much we appreciated his kindness last year,” she said.

The new recruit is still in training, but the force said he is doing really well.

“He is very laidback and is a very kind horse who looks after his riders.

He doesn’t spook at anything and it won’t be long before he is allocated to a police officer to go out on patrol more regularly.” Banks has already assisted with an arrest while out on patrol in Blackpool Central.

“He is already shaping up to be a brilliant police horse,” the spokesman said.

As well as paying tribute to Jordan, the name also follows the force’s tradition of naming horses after places across the county, with Banks also being the name of a coastal village in Lancashire.

Banks is not the only former show horse who has found a second career with the police. In April West Yorkshire Police recruited Clydesdale Millie who had enjoyed a successful career in the showring before joining the force.

The 17.2hh mare, who was six when she joined the team, has taken the police horse name of Millgarth after the former police station in Leeds.

Speaking at the time, a spokesman for the West Yorkshire force said Millie’s trainer had recognised that she had the qualities needed to be a police horse.

Having passed her training Millie was paired with PC Steven Durrans, who said she has a great temperament and is very polite.

Millie replaced long-serving police horse Breeze who retired from the West Yorkshire Mounted Section at the age of 22.