SOUTH Yorkshire Police have welcomed a new horse to the ranks after he passed a four-week trial in Barnsley.

Ben the horse was recruited after former police horse George - also known as Oakwell - retired after 16 years of service.

After completing training including town and city centre patrols, public interaction and public order training, Ben was given the go ahead and is ready to take on future challenges with the rest of the the policing team. He will be based at Ring Farm, Cudworth, in Barnsley.

Sergeant Clive Colling said: “We are thrilled that Ben has successfully completed his four-week trial with us and will be joining our team at Ring Farm.

“Ben is a grey seven-year-old, Irish draught so is a replica of a young George, and, while being a big boy, has a gentle, friendly demeanour.”

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Ring Farm has recently been refurbished and the team, who are were currently based at Cudworth Station will be are relocating to the farm.

On Friday, Chief Constable Stephen Watson officially opened the farm refurbished building and granted Ben with his official police title.