A Wiltshire Police Community Support Officer is celebrating after displaying her show jumping skills to the Queen while competing in her first ever police event at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Riding her horse Donnerbolzen, PCSO Annabel Twiddy, of the West Swindon Neighbourhood Policing Team, represented Wiltshire Police,and beat off competition from 98 others to win individually.
Her individual performance put PCSO Twiddy's team into sixth place out of a total of 33 teams. "All three members of each team jumped, and then the top 12 teams went into a jump off in the afternoon where Her Majesty The Queen came to watch."
"Our team qualified, and I was put forward to jump again," she said. "I've now been invited to represent the UK Mainland forces in Guernsey in August. Our team has also qualified for the Forces Equine Championships." "It was a true honour to present Wiltshire in front of the Queen, and I am so proud to have ridden for the force. I can't wait to do it again soon."
Annabel started with Wiltshire Police as a Special Constable in May 2013 and five months later joined the control room as a dispatch assistant and 999 call handler. In January 2015, she began training as a PCSO before joining the West sector team. A keen horse rider, she represented England Under 18s in show jumping: "I have ridden since before I could walk."
"I used to compete and breed horses full time but when the recession came around, unfortunately I had to sell all my horses bar one, which took me from 13 to one."
In 2015 PCSO Twiddy found Forces Equine who organise teams and various events for serving officers. This enabled her to compete in a mixed police team, with officers from Avon and Somerset and Derbyshire.
She asked to be allowed to represent the force and wear a Wiltshire Police uniform: "Permission and uniform was granted - I had a special PCSO tunic made for me and I was issued with a hat band and badge for my riding hat." She is currently in the top three of the Forces Equine Champions League.