Surprise summer holiday for *nearly* all The Queen’s horses

  • By Michael Clayton

    Some 250 horses used by the Army in ceremonial duties in London have been enjoying an unscheduled holiday at grass in Leicestershire owing to the coronavirus outbreak.

    They have been given their new home by Geoff Brooks and his son, Richard, who farm some 1,600 acres north of Melton Mowbray. They keep most of their the land down to grass to make Eurobale haylage. The horses normally work all summer from the Household Cavalry stables at Knightsbridge or the King’s Troop base at Woolwich.

    Pictures by Geoff Brooks

    “We have been regularly taking some Army horses as guests from London in the winter,”said Geoff. “But this year, very soon after they had been returned to London, we received an urgent request to take them back for the summer as well. It is due to the cancellation of the horses’ ceremonial duties at the Trooping the Colour and other events, due to the virus. A few have been retained in London in case they are needed suddenly.

    “The horses sent to us had their shoes taken off, but were still in blankets when they arrived, and we kept them in barns. Now they are all out at grass, many of them in big pastures in the Quorn Monday country.

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    “They are a great sight when they canter in huge groups round the fields, which we have had to re-fence. The horses are all in wonderful condition, and they look well.”

    Stable staff from the Army’s Remount Depot at Melton Mowbray inspect the horses daily, and provide hay as a feed supplement. There was insufficient grass at the Remount Depot to accommodate the horses from London .

    “We have no idea yet when the horses will go back to London, but they are welcome to stay as long as necessary,” said Geoff.

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