‘Gentle giant’ earns his retirement after long Household Division service

  • A 25-year-old “gentle giant” who took part in in The Queen’s birthday parade for 14 years in a row has retired to the Horse Trust.

    The charity welcomed 17.2hh former Household Division charger Oscar who “hung up his saddle” over the Christmas period due to his age.

    A spokesman for the Horse Trust said “gentle giant” Oscar had a “colourful” career and was responsible for carrying senior officers on state ceremonial parades.

    “Over the years he has participated in countless high-profile parades which included The Queen’s birthday parade for 14 years running, state visits, the Lord Mayor’s Show and the royal wedding in 2011.

    “He also participated in The Queen’s diamond jubilee parade, state openings of parliament and more,” she said.

    The Horse Trust’s veterinary director and former Household Cavalry vet Nicky Housby-Skeggs told H&H Oscar was a big strong horse but very kind natured and gentle.

    “I remember him fondly from my time in the Household Division,” she said.

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    “He knew the parades very well and took very good care of his rider. Training for Household Division horses mainly consists of gentle hacking in Hyde Park and parade rehearsals. This consistent low-impact work is often beneficial for older horses in maintaining overall fitness, muscle mass and keeping joints moving. At the age of 25 Oscar would have helped train lots of younger horses ready to take the reins.”

    The spokesman added Oscar was a “real hero” who had earned his retirement.

    “It is an absolute pleasure to have him here with us and we wish him a long and happy retirement,” she said.

    In this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday, 16 January, don’t miss our “kit special” including ways to go green this year, how bitting has evolved and much more. Check out what happened when H&H explored the Sahara on horseback, and in this week’s “Vet clinic” we look at the cause of grass sickness.

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