South Yorkshire Police horse who patrolled London 2012 Olympics and became firm football fan favourite retires after 12 years

A South Yorkshire Police horse who patrolled the London 2012 Olympics and became a firm football fan favourite has retired after 12 years of service.

South Yorkshire Police horse Bertie when he met David Beckham at the London 2012 Olympics.

Burngreave, also known as Bernie, joined the force in December 2009 and was partnered with Sergeant Dave Driver, who has since retired from the force's mounter unit.

Their first deployment together was in Warwickshire.

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Sgt Driver said: "Bernie hit the ground running when he joined South Yorkshire Police and our first big event was an English Defence League protest in Warwickshire.

Burngreave, also known as Bernie, joined the force in December 2009 and was partnered with Sergeant Dave Driver, who has since retired from the force's mounter unit.

"A lit firework was thrown underneath Bernie and exploded with a loud bang and sparks flying everywhere, Bernie did not move a hoof, he stood his ground like a pro and from that day forward I had the upmost trust in him, that we build a strong relationship on.

"Over the years we have been all over the country on mutual aid deployments as well as policing our own patch of South Yorkshire.

"The highlights of both our careers include working for three weeks in London for the Olympics, patrolling Olympic Park each day with up to 500,000 people at each time, we even got to meet David Beckham.

"Bernie is also a favourite at our local football matches and developed a bit of a reputation with supporters as being a ‘legend’."

Burngreave, also known as Bernie, joined the force in December 2009.

Bernie will be 20-years-old this summer.

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Sgt Driver said: “Bernie has been a fantastic horse and I am pleased I got to be partnered with him for majority of my mounted career. He has been a faithful and hardworking, he deserves a happy retirement where he will be loved and spoilt.

“Police Horses are retired to one of several horse charities and we work alongside them to find loving homes. Over the past couple of months I have worked with the Horses Trust and we have found Bernie a great forever home in West Yorkshire. Bernie will remain under the Horses Trust care for the rest of his life.

“We owe it to our horses to provide them with the best homes and care. We are also lucky enough to be able to visit him.”