Household Cavalry horse who flew Union Flag for cheering crowds dies aged 30 after happy retirement

  • A horse who once brought cheering crowds to their feet as he galloped with the Union Flag flying behind him has died aged 30 after a happy retirement.

    The Horse Trust had to make the “extremely difficult decision to say goodbye” to Household Cavalry veteran Yeti, adding that it had been an honour to care for him for the last seven years.

    Yeti had served with the Household Cavalry for a “magnificent” 18 years, taking part in ceremonial occasions including Trooping the Colour, state visits and The late Queen’s Life Guard.

    “Yeti also travelled abroad, where he performed as part of the world-famous Household Cavalry musical ride in Europe and the Middle East,” a Horse Trust spokesman said.

    “During the musical ride, four of the horses are ridden by the ‘Monkey Men’ and are trained to lie down as part of the performance and the finale includes these four horses carrying the flags of the United Kingdom. As Yeti was extremely fast, he was chosen to carry the Union Flag, and was the last horse to leave the arena at full gallop accompanied by the patriotic song Land of Hope and Glory. This prestigious accolade received many standing ovations from his adoring audiences.”

    Yeti retired to the Horse Trust in April 2016 and became a favourite with staff and visitors.

    “Although retired, he enjoyed going on his daily runs with Charlie and Normandy, his two field mates, and he was proud for being the fastest of the herd,” spokesman said.

    “Yeti also brought joy to his supporters through being one of our dearest sponsor horses for many years. We are sure his sponsors will greatly miss him and save a special place in their hearts for him.”

    Yeti developed arthritis in multiple joints, and although this was “expertly managed” by the Horse Trust, his pain levels increased recently and “despite our best efforts we were sadly not able to get him to a point where he could continue to have a good quality of life”.

    “Therefore, we made the extremely difficult decision to say goodbye, accepting this was the right time for him,” the spokesman said.

    “Yeti, it has been our absolute honour to serve you after all your years of service. 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 in your usual fast pace over the rainbow bridge with many of your former friends and colleagues.

    “Rest in peace, our lovely Yeti, you have been a joy to know, love and care for, and you will be for ever missed by us all. The Yeti-shaped hole in all our hearts will take some time to heal.”

    The charity’s Nicky Housby Skeggs told H&H she was lucky to work with Yeti when both were with the Household Cavalry.

    “Fortunately he didn’t spend too much time in the clinic back then; he did keep us all very busy one morning when he got stuck between a couple of cars in Hyde Park!” she said.

    “Later when I came to work at The Horse Trust I was delighted to find him enjoying his retirement. He suffered quite a few veterinary problems over his last few years and was a regular at the vets, thankfully most his problems were relatively minor and we did wonder whether he just enjoyed a trip to the clinic for a catch-up! In the end his arthritis caught up with him and very sadly, this time, he wasn’t able to bounce back.

    “Yeti was an absolute gentleman in every sense. He was adored by all the vets who treated him, very popular with the farrier despite not having the best feet and a firm favourite of The Horse Trust team.”

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