Wiggins was originally bought by the Household Cavalry with the intention of becoming a drum horse for the mounted band. This role would have involved Wiggins carrying two large drums, one on each side of his rider, who would play and ride during parades.
A Horse Trust spokesman said although Wiggins initially settled into training, it became clear he was a “nervous character”, especially in traffic, and it was deemed he was not suitable for the life of a drum horse.
“The decision was made to retire Wiggins to the beautiful rolling hills here in Buckinghamshire where he could live a quieter life and avoid his arch nemesis, the double decker bus!,” said the spokesman, adding that Wiggins arrived in 2016 aged seven, making him one of the charity’s youngest retirees.
“Once retired, Wiggins became a laidback chap who loved nothing more than a lie down and a munch on some hay – preferably at the same time. With his striking good looks, he was extremely popular and well known here, with everyone having a kind word or loving moment to share about him.”
The spokesman said it was recently noticed Wiggins, now aged 14, was “having some trouble” with his back legs when getting up, and would struggle to put weight on them, before “seemingly going back to normal”.
“After this was observed by the grooms, Wiggins was booked in with our vet Nicky. Unfortunately after a thorough investigation, it was found that Wiggins was suffering from advanced arthritis and hindlimb suspensory ligament degeneration,” said the spokesman.
“The deterioration of this ligament was also impacting Wiggins joints which was likely causing him a great deal of pain. Due to the quick progression of the degeneration and that Wiggins was already struggling in light of this painful condition, it was decided that the kindest thing to do was to say goodbye.”
The spokesman added that Wiggins “won the hearts of everyone he met with his handsome appearance and loveable personality”.
“He was immensely loved by all the team here and his goofy character and gentle nature will be sorely missed,” he said.
“He leaves behind a hole just as big as his gigantic heart but we let him go knowing that he will no longer feel pain and that when he crosses over the rainbow bridge, he can continue his work to comfort those of our residents who have already left us to reside in the pastures in the sky. Sleep tight Wiggins.”
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