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Black horse standing in a field

Rest in peace, Vainglory

It has been a very difficult week for us here at The Horse Trust and we are saddened to share this news with you. We are devastated to announce at the age of 31 years old, we said the final farewell to Vainglory, also known as Sven.

Vainglory, a stunning black gelding, retired from The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment after an  outstanding 21 years’ service in the Life Guards Squadron. During this time, Vainglory took part in many ceremonial events such as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Parade, the late Queen’s Life Guard, Diamond Jubilee, and the Royal Wedding in 2011 where he was an Officer’s Charger. This 16.2hh Irish Sports horse was also used on the Musical Ride and during his last few years at the HCMR, he was the Director of Music’s Charger, where was at the front leading the band because of his great attitude and confidence. Vainglory also went to Windsor to assist in the training of soldiers to ride. He excelled himself when he attended the annual HCMR Summer Camp in Thetford where all the horses enjoy beach rides and take part in jumping events.

After what was a very successful working life spanning 21 years, Vainglory came to us in 2016 to enjoy his retirement in the Chiltern Hills and he made close friends with fellow equine military veterans Union and Yeti, both also golden oldies who were long in the tooth and therefore missing plenty of their own teeth! They were affectionately known as ‘the gummy bears’ due to this lack of teeth and during the winter months, they often received 3 meals a day to supplement their diet as they struggled to graze without all of their teeth. Beyond their many dinner dates, these three boys were always found hanging out together in the field and were such cheeky, lovable characters.

Whilst Vainglory coped well over this past summer with extra mashes and the long grass, very sadly we were struggling to maintain his weight towards the end of the summer and coming into the winter. Knowing that during the winter months, our lovely gummy bear brigade often struggle to keep weight on, it was a concern for us that Vainglory had already taken a downhill turn before the end of the good months. He has also been suffering anaemia alongside his problems with maintaining his weight and then suffered a mild colic, wasn’t in itself life threatening but made it clear to us that all of his underlying health problems were beginning to catch up with old Vainglory and that it wouldn’t be kind to send him into the difficult winter months knowing that he would continue to struggle. Therefore, the heartbreaking decision was made to say goodnight to Vainglory for the final time.

While we will miss him dearly, we hope that he is reunited with his gummy bear veterans, Union, Yeti and so many others on the other side of the rainbow bridge. We have loved every moment of caring for you in your retirement and let you go knowing that you will be at peace. Goodnight, dear Vainglory.

The Horse Trust relies on public donations to continue to provide a forever home to retired military, police, Royal Mews and RDA horses. If you would like to be part of our story you can find out how below.


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