ILPH Penny at royal funeral

  • ILPH horse, Penny, passed her first major test as a King’s Troop gun carriage horse in the royal funeral ceremonies last week

    Just over a year ago, ILPH Penny was in a chronically poor state and difficult to handle. Last week, she was taking part in the event which gripped both the nation and millions around the world – the Queen Mother’s funeral.

    Penny, a horse on loan to the Kings Troop from the International League for the Protection of Horses, only finished her training three weeks ago.

    Captain Edward Botterill of the King’s Troop said: “There’s no real secret to our training. Like all our horses, she was handled everyday by the same soldier for three months.

    “It’s a combination of consistency and perseverance. We always talk to the horses in dulcet tones, lots of patting and rewards and no beatings.

    “There were no problems with her for the funeral events and she had to stand quietly for around an hour at one point.

    “Obviously, with Penny, we do stay aware of her history. She can be a bit of a madam but she seems happy in herself and, for the majority of the time, she is quite soft.”

    Penny is one of the centre horses in the carriage team of six but Captain Botterill is expecting her to go on to bigger things.

    “Because of her height – she is just over 15hh – we are hoping to train her to be one of the brake horses at the back of the team, which is a very important job,” he said.

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