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Retirement for royal gelding who pulled his carriage ‘with a smile’

The Horse Trust has welcomed the arrival of a “mischievous” royal resident, who has retired to the charity.

Cleveland Bay Sheffield retired from the Royal Mews aged 10, owing to lameness issues.

A spokesman for the Horse Trust said the 16hh gelding was born at Hampton Court Palace and spent his working career as a carriage horse.

“As a young horse in training, Sheffield was a lot smaller than the others but that never held him back. He proved to be a little bay powerhouse when it came to driving and would always be seen pulling his carriage with enthusiasm and a smile on his face,” she said.

“Sheffield moved to Buckingham Palace as a five-year-old, where he became a regular on state occasions, participating in his first state visit after only three months in London.”

The gelding has been a part of many major ceremonies including Trooping the Colour, the state opening of parliament, Royal Ascot, and The Queen’s 90th birthday pageant.

“Sheffield was used regularly for training and teaching members of the mews the ropes of driving. Several of the staff perfected their driving skills with Sheffield, either as a single, a pair or in a team,’ she said.

“He also spent a season as the nanny for the young horses in training at Windsor. Although a model example of a royal carriage horse for the most part, he did not hesitate to show off his mischievous side!”

The spokesman added Sheffield was a “huge character” at the Royal Mews.

“He was blessed with a pair of fantastically large ears, which made him easy to spot anywhere,” she said.

“His enormous overreactions to the smallest puddles kept the team on their toes for many years, and not forgetting his ability to cover the ground like a racehorse, meaning he was everyone’s top choice to ride in the Great Park.”

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Matthew Powers, head coachman of the Royal Mews, said the gelding will be “missed by many” but is very deserving of his retirement at the Horse Trust.

“Sheffield’s time at the mews has not been as long as some horses’ but he has been such an enjoyable horse to have,” he said.

Horse Trust chief executive Jeanette Allen added: “Sheffield is a stunning boy with an impressive career of public service behind him. We can’t wait to get to know him better as he settles into retirement.”

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