‘The freshest breath on parade!’ Army horse injured in London to star in King’s birthday celebration – after plenty of mints

  • One of the horses who was injured while running loose in London this spring will be taking part in The King’s birthday parade – with the freshest breath in the regiment.

    Tennyson, who was one of the five Household Cavalry horses who were injured after they were spooked in the capital in April, has “returned to service without missing a step”, so much so that he will be among the 242 horses at the event tomorrow (15 June).

    Straight after the incident, Tennyson and his colleagues Trojan and Vanquish had emergency veterinary treatment, then after a period at Hyde Park Barracks were sent to The Horse Trust for “expert respite care in rolling fields”.

    “Their recovery was so swift and successful that they returned to service last month,” an Army spokesperson said. “Since then, they have been gradually reacclimatised to London life and have shown such aptitude and eagerness that they’re all now back on duty.”

    Tennyson will be part of the sovereign’s escort at the rear of the second division in the birthday parade. Trojan and Vanquish will be part of The King’s Life Guard at Horse Guards.

    Captain Charles Carr-Smith, 1 Troop Leader, the Life Guards Squadron, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment said: “Military working horse Tennyson is the epitome of a cavalry black. Bold and brave as a war horse should be, yet a gentleman to ride and groom.

    “Tennyson has returned to service without missing a step. His return has lifted the spirits of those in 1 Troop the Life Guards. Knowing that this brilliant horse will once again carry his rider carefully down the Mall or canter off, leaping over log piles in Melton Mowbray, is a comfort to our less experienced riders, who will undoubtedly scramble to put their names alongside his, for daily exercise. Due to so many well-wishers sending in mints, it goes without saying that Tennyson has the freshest breath of any horse on parade!”

    Tennyson will be ridden by Corporal of Horse Harvey, the Life Guards Squadron equitation instructor and the most experienced rider in the division.

    “The riders caught up in the incident are also doing well, with three of the five who sustained injuries, recovered and back on duty,” the spokesperson said. “The remaining two soldiers continue to make good progress in their recovery and are expected to return to duty in due course. The two more seriously injured horses, Vida and Quaker, are still enjoying their peaceful countryside respite care at The Horse Trust, and will do so for as long as they need.”

    Horse Trust CEO Jeanette Allen said everyone at the charity is very happy to see Tennyson, Trojan and Vanquish back on parade.

    “Anything we have done to help them complete their recovery, to the point of returning to full duties, means a great deal to us,” she said. “We also thank the public for their continued support of our charity in providing dignified retirements to all types of public service horses and perhaps one day, in the hopefully distant future, these boys may return to live out their days here at the end of their service.

    “Their friends Vida and Quaker are still enjoying their peaceful countryside respite with us and will do so for as long as they need.”

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