Lancashire

Police horse Morecambe dies at Blackpool football match

Morecambe police horse with Eric Morecambe statue Image copyright Lancashire Constabulary
Image caption The police horse, called Morecambe, died outside Blackpool FC's Bloomfield Road stadium

A police horse has died and its rider injured in a "tragic accident" responding to "disorder" at a football match.

The horse, named Morecambe, was at the League One game between Blackpool and Fleetwood when it fell on to a metal pole, Lancashire Constabulary said.

The 11-year-old animal suffered a serious stomach injury and died at the scene on Seasiders Way on Monday.

Its rider was taken to hospital after falling into the side of a horsebox.

A force spokesman said the horse was "fatally injured in a tragic accident whilst responding to reports of disorder at Blackpool", and there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding its death, which happened at about 17:20 BST.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fans celebrate Blackpool's winner

It said Morecambe, which had served for the force for more than four years, slipped on to metal barriers at a pedestrian crossing.

'Completely devastated'

Dean Furness said on Facebook he witnessed the "horrible" accident.

He said: "The horse lost its footing or a shoe and slipped straight into the pole causing the massive injury to the left hand side of its body.

"The officer riding it did a brilliant job of getting it back to its horse transport box where sadly the horse went down against the side of the horse box, crushing the officer."

The officer was not thought to be seriously hurt.

Ch Insp Sue Bushell, of Lancashire Constabulary's mounted branch, said: "We are all completely devastated by the loss of Morecambe in such tragic circumstances.

"The horses are a big part of our police family and Morecambe will be sorely missed by his riders and many colleagues from across the force."

Blackpool won 2-1 with a goal scored four minutes into injury time prompting some fans to run on the pitch.

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In a tweet, Blackpool FC said it was "very sad news".

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