It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Burniston, at the age of 29.
Burniston was a beautiful Irish Draught X standing at 16.2hh and served both in the Defence Animal Training Regiment and then in the Household Division for a whopping 18 years. During her service this beautiful bright bay mare took part in all ceremonial duties. Because of her beauty, grace and calm temperament Burniston was chosen as the centre horse at Trooping the Colour (the horse that stands alone whilst the officer in charge commands the parade).
This lovely lady was said to be the Infantry Officers best friend and due to her kind nature, she would help her new riders enormously if it was their first parade; she knew all the commands like the back of her hoof and instantly knew when to move and when to stand still. She also took part in other state ceremonial occasions such as the state opening of parliament and numerous state visits from foreign dignitaries.
Burnie caused us quite the scare back in 2019. We had to rush her to the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) to check a wound on her leg and it was discovered that she unfortunately had two splint bone fractures to her hind leg. She was very lucky that The Horse Trust team acted so quickly on finding this wound and rushed her off for treatment. She had to spend a good few months on box rest and in that time became a firm favourite on the yard! She turned into a really soppy girl who adored attention and cuddles.
Burniston retired to The Horse Trust in 2014 after a long and distinguished career serving the country in the Household Division and as soon as she came off the lorry, we knew she would fit right in. She captured our hearts from day one and was an absolute pleasure to care for due to her soft and affectionate nature. She was very easy going, calm and patient and would politely stand waiting for the farrier or vet even if there was chaos happening around her! She formed a really strong bond with Tryfan a 17.2hh working shire horse that we sadly lost in 2019.
Since retiring with us Burniston suffered from a few ongoing health issues, including equine asthma and fetlock arthritis which isn’t uncommon for a large horse of 29. She suffered with lameness on and off for the last 6-12 months and has had a few spells on box rest. Nicky the vet had been monitoring and treating her lameness in the field as due to her severe asthma box rest it became increasingly difficult to manage.
Unfortunately, Burniston’s condition kept deteriorating and Nicky was no longer able to manage the pain and asthma and it was very unlikely that neither condition would improve significantly enough to ensure she had a good quality of life. This meant that we knew it was time and we prepared ourselves to say our final goodbyes to this gentle lady.
Burnie you were truly one of a kind and it has been our complete honour to serve you after all your years of service to us. Kind, gentle and loving you gave us so many treasured memories that we will never forget.