Horses and troops from the Household Cavalry Regiment enjoyed a morning dip in the sea in Norfolk on Monday (3 August), to mark the beginning of their annual regimental training.

The regiment has left its barracks in London to start training at Bodney Camp, near Thetford. Following a busy ceremonial season, including Trooping the Colour, the visit to Norfolk comes as a welcome break for the regiment.

The swim, which is now something of an annual tradition and attracts enormous crowds, was described by Simon Saunders, London area spokesman for the army, as, “the highlight of the summer camp season”.

Although a few of the horses opted out of getting their feet wet, some ploughed enthusiastically into the waters until they were swimming.

The training camp also includes exercises to develop the soldiers’ field craft and equestrian skills, periods on the firing range, lance and revolver drills, show jumping and cross-country training. 

This Sunday (9 August), the regiment will also hold a free public open day at Bodney Camp.

The event, which usually attracts several thousand people, features a professional jousting team re-enactment spectacle, a musical ride by the Household Cavalry mounted display team and a show jumping competition.

However, Simon emphasised that although the troops are enjoying their relatively light-hearted training break in Norfolk, the regiment remains sombre and stoic about the operations in Helmand province in Afghanistan, where some of their number will be posted in four months time.

Picture by Rex Images