‘We will miss him dearly’: former charger who spent 21 years in service dies aged 31

  • The former charger to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment’s (HCMR) director of music, who served for 21 years before retiring to the green fields of The Horse Trust, has died aged 31.

    Vainglory spent more than two decades in the Life Guards Squadron, taking part in many ceremonial events, including The Queen’s birthday parade and the Diamond Jubilee, and helped teach soldiers to ride in Windsor. He retired to The Horse Trust in 2016 to spend his twilight years at the charity in the Chiltern Hills.

    He was an officer’s charger at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton – the now Prince and Princess of Wales – and also took part in musical rides.

    “During his last few years at the HCMR, he was the director of music’s charger, where he was at the front leading the band because of his great attitude and confidence,” said a spokesman for The Horse Trust.

    “He excelled himself when he attended the annual HCMR summer camp in Thetford where all the horses enjoy beach rides and take part in jumping events.”

    The spokesman added that Vainglory became good friends with fellow equine military veterans Union and Yeti, who were also “long in the tooth and therefore missing plenty of their own teeth”.

    “They were affectionately known as ‘the gummy bears’ due to this lack of teeth and during the winter months, they often received three meals a day to supplement their diet,” said the spokesman.

    “Beyond their many dinner dates, these three boys were always found hanging out together in the field and were such cheeky, lovable characters.

    “Whilst Vainglory coped well over this past summer with extra mashes and the long grass, very sadly we were struggling to maintain his weight towards the end of the summer and coming into the winter.

    “Knowing that during the winter months, our lovely gummy bear brigade often struggle to keep weight on, it was a concern for us that Vainglory had already taken a downhill turn before the end of the good months.

    “He has also been suffering anaemia alongside his problems with maintaining his weight and then suffered a mild colic, which wasn’t in itself life-threatening but made it clear to us that all of his underlying health problems were beginning to catch up with old Vainglory and that it wouldn’t be kind to send him into the difficult winter months knowing that he would continue to struggle.

    “Therefore, the heartbreaking decision was made to say goodnight to Vainglory for the final time.”

    The spokesman added: “While we will miss him dearly, we hope that he is reunited with his gummy bear veterans, Union, Yeti and so many others, on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

    “We have loved every moment of caring for you in your retirement and let you go knowing that you will be at peace. Goodnight, dear Vainglory.”

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