Clara Belle - On the sudden and sad passing of her Police Horse Stirling.

In Memory of my BIGGEST Friend....

The stars that burn brightest, burn quickest they say,

Won’t make me less angry you’ve been taken away,

Your story needs told, for those you met,

You served your duty, lest we forget.

Too big, too wide, too clumpy, they said,

But we knew different, you’re Noble bred.

You’d led parades, unbeaten racehorse,

I knew you were the right horse for this course.

Frankie, you were born, 9 years ago,

Born to the plough, workhorse you know.

Stirling became your police horse name,

To me, you were ‘Frank’, when Sunday came.

A kindly eye, a gentle soul,

White face with coat as black as coal,

Athletic tank, “How high he stands!”

A spit and a half off eighteen hands.

A gent of a horse, a big love trader,

At times a definite space invader!

Loved a scratch, gave comic relief,

Big goon face, tongue between teeth!

At the start, whilst at the reins,

The only scary(?!) things were drains,

Confidence built, out on the street,

You were just being careful where you put your feet!

Very soon, realised my luck,

A lit up train, upon a truck,

Passed us by, so close, so near,

You barely even flicked an ear.

Preferred to march, rather than walk,

Testament to good breeding stock,

Good turn of speed, with big high knees,

With every inch, you aimed to please.

Patience you showed, when visiting schools,

Kids shrieked in delight, a break from the rules!

Wee hands outstretched, up on tip-toes,

Striving to touch your mile-high nose.

Soon we were in the thick of it all,

Patrols, parades, full on football.

You quickly filled my heart with pride,

Taking it all in your Clydesdale stride.

On football pitch, with anarchy reining,

We were there, you still ‘in training’,

United presence, no need for force,

You’ll always be my Hampden Horse.

Next day you led the celebrations,

Hemmed in by thousands, a contemplation!

Again, you showed great temperament,

And never shed a bead of sweat.

Performances noted up the tree,

And shortly thereafter, you were taken from me.

Your stirrups filled by Gaffer’s feet,

Success is always bitter sweet!

Of course, it wasn’t the end of ‘Us’,

I’d stop for chats and make a fuss,

Sneaky moments, we would catch,

For a Big Frank hug, or good ol’ scratch!

By now you’d gained your own fan club,

Lots would visit for a stroke and a rub,

Grooms and riders knew you were Great!

You, more than most, pulled double your weight.

Brave and bold, first into a crowd,

No matter how angry or hostile, or loud.

If kids were about, or we’d ended the bedlam,

Big gentleman resumed, you’d tiptoe around them.

And then there were the big parades,

You’d lead completely and utterly unfazed,

Thundering drums, the shrill of flute,

You’d stand, ears pricked, whilst resting a foot.

These words don’t do you justice, by far,

In my eyes, the department’s biggest star.

The nicest nature, the greatest will,

The next number Nine has big shoes to fill.

Suddenly you left, a shock to say,

A canter stride from Remembrance Day,

A pleasure to know, an honour to ride,

Another reason to wear my poppy with pride.

I brought you in, I saw you out,

I’ll ever miss your nudging snout.

Great times and laughs unto the death,

Stroked your face as you took your last breath.

You’ll stay in my heart, that much is true,

(Apart from the piece you took with you),

In time, this awful grief shall yield,

To smiles, when visiting ‘Stirling’s Field’.

Farewell, not nearly a goodbye,

I’ll miss your gorgeous, kindly eye.

You’ve made your mark on me ‘et al’,

Forever and Always, my Biggest Pal.


Gemma Wardell