Force confirms that former News International chief executive received one of its retired horses in 2008.
The Metropolitan police, which is attempting to resist claims that it has been too close to Rupert Murdoch's News International, has confirmed it loaned Rebekah Brooks a police horse.
Brooks is the former chief executive of News International, who was forced to resign amid the phone-hacking scandal.
On Monday, the Leveson inquiry heard she had received extensive information from a police officer about the Met's first investigation into phone hacking, while News International was under criminal investigation.
The Met said the horse had reached the end of its working life and that there was nothing unusual in the decision to loan the horse, with Brooks being responsible for paying for its upkeep.
Brooks was loaned the horse in 2008, and it was kept at her home in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. Her husband, Charlie Brooks, is a trainer of racehorses.
In a statement, probably one of the odder ones it has issued, the Met said: "When a police horse reaches the end of its working life, Mounted Branch officers find it a suitable retirement home.
"Whilst responsibility for feeding the animal and paying vet bills passes to the person entrusted to its care at its new home, the horse remains the property of the Metropolitan police service.
"Retired police horses are not sold on and can be returned to the care of the MPS at any time.
"In 2008 a retired MPS horse was loaned to Rebekah Brooks. The horse was subsequently rehoused with a police officer in 2010."
The Met was already facing a rough ride at the Leveson inquiry over its failures to investigate News International's criminal activities.
The scale of phone hacking by the News of the World led Rupert Murdoch to close it down, and on Monday police said the Sun was being investigated for the bribing of public officials.