Mounted service to commemorate horses lost in war

A mounted service to commemorate the horses and soldiers who died in the two world wars will take place this Remembrance Sunday (10 November).

The meet, thought to be the only one of its kind in the UK, ran for the first time last year to mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The popularity of the service at Wynyard Hall, Stockton-On-Tees, which is followed by a pleasure ride around the estate, has prompted its return as an annual event.

Organiser Steve Birbeck, one of the masters of Yorkshire’s first bloodhound pack, the Highmoor Bloodhounds, said the event is already oversubscribed for horses, but foot followers are welcome.

“It’s quite a spectacle to watch, so we are hoping to get some more members of the public to come along,” he said.

“Last year was the centenary, so we thought ‘let’s get the horses together to remember the war horses’ and it went down really well; we had more than 200 riders there who all congregated outside the hall.

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“After that, there is a pleasure ride around the estate of about eight miles, where you can’t usually take horses.”

Last year, the event raised money for the War Horse Memorial Fund and the Household Cavalry Foundation, while this year’s beneficiaries will be the foundation alongside Here4Horses, a local rescue charity.

“We do have some ex-military people riding out with us as they want to pay their respects but all sorts of people come, there are members of local packs but also people who have nothing to do with hunting who come for a pleasure ride, although we do have the hounds there with us,” Steve added.

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