The Household Cavalry’s latest equine recruit towers over his stablemates, has out-grown the regimental measuring stick and is too big to comfortably fit in a guard box.
Six-year-old Irish warmblood Hugo is a massive 19.2hh, two hands higher than most of his stablemates, and is still growing.
Captain Laura Holmes, the Regimental Vet, said: “Hugo is a pleasure to treat — he is a friendly horse with good stable manners. The scary thing is – he’s still growing. Once he fills out he will weigh over a ton.”
Because of his great size Hugo struggled in training and had physiotherapy during the three years he has been with the Cavalry, to help him coordinate his hooves and develop his back muscles.
Fortunately the “Riding Staff” persevered, and the Queen’s Birthday Parade on 13 June will be Hugo’s first major ceremonial parade as a fully-fledged Household Cavalry troop horse.
Captain Charlie Dale, Troop Leader of 1 Troop, The Life Guards said: “I have my eye on Hugo as a future charger — it’s hard not to look imposing on him. He has a huge jump but is still a little bit scared of his own shadow.”
But Corporal of Horse Stuart Smith of 1 Troop, The Life Guards said the soldiers have nicknamed Hugo “Damien” as he has two knobbly horns growing out of his forehead.
He added: “His only problem is that he is scared of going into the guard boxes for our daily duty at Horse Guards – he probably feels a little claustrophobic!”