THE Queen’s Royal Hussars have recruited a new member to their regiment — an Irish sport horse called Alamein.

Alamein will be the regiment’s drum horse and is to be an integral part of ceremonial occasions.

The five-year-old grey gelding, passport name Banna Lad, has been christened Alamein after one of the regiment’s battle honours.

During ceremonial parades, Alamein will carry The Queen’s Royal Hussars’ silver drums, captured by the regiment at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743.

The 17.3hh Alamein replaces Winston, who died in 2006 — a drum horse remains the regimental mascot for life.

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Coles said: “We’ve always had drum horses —they’re a very special and central part of the regiment.

“Alamein is already part of people’s affections. Now we need to turn him into a drum horse rather than just a very large animal.”

Alamein is being slowly introduced to his ceremonial duties by getting used to standing still on the parade square while the regimental band is playing.

The army says his first formal appearance will be in a ceremonial parade next year.

Alamein’s former owner Paula Cryer told H&H: “Sadly, I didn’t have time for him as I have a young family and he was too green for me.

“He’s a super animal, extremely agile and he has immense respect for people. He’ll be absolutely perfect.”

Lance Corporal Brent Evans, Alamein’s groom, said: “He’s still young and wary. He’s fairly massive — and he likes fingers. He’s bitten me a couple of times, but we’re bonding all right.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (28 August, ’08)