The country’s longest-serving military horse has been retired to “enjoy his twilight years just being a horse”.
Viscount, a Household Cavalry veteran with almost 22 years’ service, has been welcomed to the Horse Trust’s home of rest in Buckinghamshire.
The 17hh Irish sport horse gelding completed his military training aged five, passing out in 1997. He went on to “serve the Household Cavalry with distinction in all aspects of service”, from taking part in parades to helping train new recruits.
Thanks to his calm demeanour, Viscount took on a variety of roles, including as an officer’s charger and, for his last four ceremonial seasons, carrying musicians from the Band of the Household Cavalry.
After his duties were finished, 25-year-old Viscount was retired to his new home.
“He stepped off the lorry very calmly on the hottest day of the year and enjoyed a long cooling shower,” said a spokesman for the Horse Trust. “He was then released into the fields, where he quickly befriended fellow Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment veteran Belize who had retired on the very same day.”
Viscount takes the record for the longest-serving military horse from Remus, who retired to the trust in 2012 aged 26, after 21 years’ service.
Trust CEO Jeanette Allen said “The Horse Trust is proud of its relationship with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and providing horses like Viscount with a home in their retirement after a lifetime of public service is our privilege.”
“With the help of our donors we are able to provide these hard-working equine civil servants the opportunity to relax and enjoy their twilight years just being a horse.”
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The Horse Trust was founded in 1886 to provide a resting place for working horses. It now cares for equines retired from serving their country or community and acts as a sanctuary to horses, ponies and donkeys who have suffered neglect or cruelty.
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