A horse that has spent many years working for the army has retired to The Horse Trust in Speen, Buckinghamshire.

Denzil, a 19-year-old, 17.2hh dark bay gelding, has spent the last six years working for the Light Cavalry Honourable Artillery Company in Windsor, taking part in ceremonial duties and teaching people to ride.

Denzil started his army career with The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, before moving onto the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and then the Royal Engineers Saddle Club.

He is one of the most popular horses owned by the Light Cavalry HAC, according to stable manager Caroline Quested.

“Ninety per cent of the people who ride here have sat on Denzil — he’s
probably the most ridden horse we have,” said Caroline.

“He was really good with beginners as he was very patient. But if you knew how to ride, you had to know what you were doing as he didn’t suffer fools gladly.”

In his time with the Light Cavalry HAC, Denzil had various ceremonial duties, including escorting the Lady Mayoress at the Lord Mayor’s Show in the City of London each November.

He also took part in equestrian displays, such as tent pegging, and taught people of all ages to ride, including trainees from the Defence Medical Services Training Group and children from local schools and Windsor Horse Rangers.

Although Denzil behaved like a gentleman most of the time, he has a reputation among staff at the Light Cavalry HAC for being cheeky.

On one occasion, in January 2008, he chewed the fire alarm box next to his stable and set off the alarm at 2am.

Windsor Fire and Rescue Service responded to the call, and the incident made it into The Sun newspaper and Capital Radio.

Irish Cross Thoroughbred Denzil is retiring as he has an arthritic condition, which has worsened over recent months so he can no longer be ridden.

Caroline is delighted that he is retiring to The Horse Trust where he will spend the remainder of his years, with access to 200 acres of paddocks in the Chiltern Hills.

“The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses is such a fantastic place for him to retire to. I’m so glad that the charity was able to take him in as he’s given so many years of his life to the army and deserves a good retirement. We will all miss him madly though!” said Caroline.

Jeanette Allen, chief executive of The Horse Trust, welcomed
Denzil to the sanctuary.

“We are delighted to provide sanctuary to Denzil at The Horse Trust after all his hard work for the military.

“We hope he will enjoy his retirement here and won’t get in too much trouble!” said Jeanette.

The Horse Trust depends on the support of the public to look after retired working horses such as Denzil.

It costs the charity around £10 a day to look after each horse at the sanctuary, which includes the costs of grooms, forage, farriery and veterinary care.

Visit www.horsetrust.org.uk, or contact the charity on 01494 488 464 or info@horsetrust.org.uk