A “superstar” mare who served in the army for 16 years and made headlines when she was pictured “slobbering” on The Queen, has been put down in retirement aged 31.
Talavera retired to the Horse Trust in April 2018 after her military career with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTSDG) regiment in which she was a drum horse and one of 10 official regimental mascots of the British Army. Prior to this, she underwent training with the Household Cavalry and was presented to SCOTSDG by The Queen at a parade in London.
During her career, the 18hh mare carried out ceremonial duties including representing SCOTSDG and the British Army to the wider public.
“Talavera was a well-travelled lady, with her regiment being posted to Bad Fallingbostel in Germany, a place where she spent most of her military career,” said a Horse Trust spokesman.
“In 2015 Talavera returned with her regiment to Scotland and moved to Leuchars where she remained before making the journey to us in rural Buckinghamshire. While at Leuchars, Talavera was once again reunited with The Queen during her visit to the Fide base in 2015. A photo of Talavera slobbering on Her Majesty made the front page of the Daily Telegraph the following day!”
The spokesman said Talavera suffered a bout of lymphangitis this year and the underlying cause was found to be a piece of infected bone.
“Talavera was being lovingly managed by the team and was in the company of her best friend Polly to help her remain as comfortable as possible,” he said.
“Sadly, although it appeared the treatment was working, the infection recently flared up. Talavera then developed severe colic. It was a heartbreaking decision to make but it was with an incredibly heavy heart that we decided the kindest thing to do for our beautiful black beauty was to say goodnight to her one final time.”
The spokesman said the charity is “incredibly thankful” to have been able to provide the “stunning” mare with three and a half years of retirement, adding that she had provided “so much joy and love”.
“Standing at 18hh, Talavera was a true gentle giant and a much-loved member of the Horse Trust family. Her profile featured in a book titled ‘Scotland’s Animal Superstars’ and a superstar is certainly what she was,” he said.
“Sleep tight Talavera, we already miss you so dearly but we know you are galloping free over the rainbow bridge to former friends and colleagues. RIP our beautiful girl.”
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