‘A hole in our hearts’: final farewell to Household Cavalry veteran

  • A Household Cavalry “veteran” who served for “a magnificent” 20 years and was retired at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has been put down aged 29.

    Irish sports horse Yeoman joined the Horse Trust in 2017 following his military career with the Life Guards. During his service, he took part in parades including Trooping the Colour, the 2011 royal wedding and The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Yeoman also starred in the Household Cavarly’s musical ride as one of the horses that would lie down during the display.

    Household Cavalry

    The Horse Trust’s director of equine care Mark Avison, who worked with Yeoman during his military career, said he was “not the easiest horse to ride”.

    “He only knew one speed and that was flat out! Hence he was a capable jumper in the regimental showjumping and hunter trial competitions, and only for the more experienced riders within the regiment,” he said.

    “Yeoman became a valuable asset to the Household Cavalry’s famous musical ride. I was fortunate to have him on the ride that represented the regiment and the armed forces in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Switzerland and the UK, which included Royal Windsor Horse Show, Olympia and HOYS, where I had the privilege of leading him out of the arena on his retirement.”

    A Horse Trust spokesman said Yeoman was an “incredibly gentle and kind” horse who often featured in the charity’s visiting days, and was part of the Christmas open day parade. But recently, he was found looking a “little quiet”, with a very high temperature.

    “While they were waiting for our vet to arrive he was nursed lovingly with hot mashes and given a nice fluffy bed,” he said, adding that it was suspected the gelding was suffering from peritonitis.

    “We are so sad to report that upon arrival of our vet, Yeoman was very sick and despite the best efforts from the whole team, he tragically deteriorated and the kindest thing to do for our black beauty was to say goodnight to him one last time.”

    “We know this news will be equally as upsetting to our visitors as it is to all of us at the Horse Trust and in the Household Cavalry. Yeoman was a true gentle giant and really was one of those very special horses that we came to adore so incredibly much.”

    The spokesman said Yeoman will be missed for an “incredibly long time” and had “such a special place in so many hearts”.

    He was so often on the yard for the team and visitors to say hello to and put a smile on all our faces,” he said.

    “Yeoman, we are so incredibly sad to have had to say goodbye to you after just short of five wonderful years loving and caring for you. You were truly a one of a kind horse with such a gentle and kind soul who had the most incredible career and a loving and peaceful retirement. Accepting you are no longer with us is so incredibly difficult but we know you lived your life to the full and that you are now pain-free, galloping over the rainbow bridge to many of your former friends and colleagues. Rest in peace now Yeoman, you have been a joy to know, a joy to love and care for, and you will be for ever missed by us all. The Yeoman-shaped hole in our hearts will take some time to heal.”

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