A “deserving” Welsh mountain pony has been promoted to lance corporal by the British Army.
Regimental mascot Trooper Emrys Forlan Jones, who serves with the 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG) (The Welsh Cavalry), has been promoted in recognition of his service.
The six-year-old gelding was given the promotion in the main ring at the Royal Welsh Show (22 to 25 July) by Brigadier Alan Richmond OBE, head of the Army in Wales and regimental colonel of the QDG.
The pony’s handler, Farrier Major Lance Corporal Mark Holland, said Tpr Jones “thoroughly deserves” the promotion, describing the gelding as “amazing”.
“It’s a rare thing for promotion to take place away from the regimental headquarters and it’s certainly something that’s never happened at the Royal Welsh Show, so to have Jones promoted in front of thousands of people in Builth Wells is very different to the norm,” he said.
“Everyone knows Jones at the Royal Welsh – he’s already a celebrity there. When people pass his pen they love seeing him and call out to him. Jones is special, but very nosey, checking out what the other horses are doing at the show.”
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The ride on Holkham beach is one of the highlights of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment’s annual north Norfolk training
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The gelding was recruited from Forlan Stud in Wiltshire in February 2016 and is the first ever QDG mascot, after the regiment sought permission from the Queen. The regiment said it chose a Welsh mountain pony to keep in touch with its Welsh heritage and the tradition of the Welsh cavalry charging into battle on horseback. Since joining QDG Jones has stood on parade at numerous events across the UK in front of thousands of people including royalty.
Lieutenant Colonel Justin Stenhouse DSO MBE, commanding officer of the QDG, said: “He has been instrumental in raising our profile. His diary is full and he’s often travelling across the country from our current headquarters in Norfolk to Wales.
“The farrier major was recognised this year at our 60th anniversary and was awarded the regimental medal. It is therefore only right and proper that Tpr Jones is also recognised for all he has done and I am very pleased that he has been promoted to LCpl. He has met the requirement many times over.”
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