A rescue horse who has served for 12 years in the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery is to retire to World Horse Welfare this September.

Penny, an Irish draught mare, was severely emaciated and infested with lice and worms when she was rescued as a four-year-old in 2001.

As she was the first unnamed horse to be taken into World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm in Lancashire, she was named after the centre’s benefactor, Penny Thornton.

Previously unhandled and difficult to manage, Penny was nursed back to health by the charity’s original farm manager, Tony Fleming.

She was later successfully rehomed with the King’s Troop thanks to Tony’s connections there, as he had served in the troop for 25 years.

“Penny, now named Hallmark by the troops, is a credit to World Horse Welfare and the King’s Troop,” said the charity’s London field officer Nick White, who visited Penny yesterday (26 March) at the Woolwich barracks.

“It is hard to imagine that as a young horse she had such a bad start.

“She has since performed on countless ceremonial occasions and it has been a privilege to follow her career,” he added.

The mare will return to Penny Farm for rehoming when she retires in September.