Is that Harry O’Neil?

As we know we have a very successful Dog Training Club here at Imber run by our very own Harry O’Neil, better known to many as ‘Harry The Dog’.

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What you probably did not know is that when Harry The Dog worked in the Met Police as a Dog Handler he was once a star of the big screen. See if you can spot him in his younger years in this classic film shot exclusively at Imber Court.

Police Horse ‘Winston’

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Winston

The memorial to Winston’s final resting place can still be found in the grounds of Imber Court

Police Horse ‘Winston’, who sire was Erehwemos was foaled in Yorkshire in 1937.

In 1944 he was purchased by the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police Service and following tradition the letter ‘W’ was used to name all police horses that year. Winston was named after Winston Churchill. As a police horse Winston was often present on duty at public events such as the Changing of the Guard.

In 1947 Winston carried King George VI during the first Trooping of the Colour since 1939. Winston participated in various roles in other Royal ceremonial events when not working as a police horse.

From 1949 to 1951 , then Princess Elizabeth took her father’s place at the ceremony becoming the first British Queen since Elizabeth I to review her troops on horseback. Though other police horses were made available, the Queen always preferred Winston.

During the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II procession Winston was ridden by Sir John Nott-Bower then Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

Winston retired from Troopings and other Royal Duties in 1956. Whilst later being ridden by a mounted police officer at Imber Court, Winston slipped and dislocated his back on the 7th February 1957 , requiring him to be destroyed.

An original photograph of Winston can be found in the members bar in the Club House at Imber Court  and on the 7th February every year glasses are raised….