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We are heartbroken to bring our supporters yet more incredibly sad news. It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the passing of former The Household Cavalry veteran, Yeoman, at the age of 29.
Yeoman was an incredibly well-loved member of The Horse Trust family and a true hero and inspiration, having served a magnificent 20 years with The Household Cavalry before retiring to us in July 2017. Yeoman took part in a large number of ceremonial duties throughout his long and impressive career. He served nobly with The Life Guard’s, the senior regiment of the British Army and part of The Household Cavalry for two impressive decades. Throughout his service, Yeoman took part in numerous parades including The Queen’s Life Guard, Trooping The Colour, the 2011 Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, State Openings of Parliament, State Visits, The 2012 Diamond Jubilee and The Musical Ride. Yeoman’s role in The Musical Ride was to be one of four ‘lay down horses’, those who lie down as part of the display. Historically the tactics of laying down a horse were used by scouts who could move fast into enemy territory and then “disappear” in the long grass when they laid their horses down. In an emergency, they would also use their horses as a firing post, as they offered some cover from enemy gunfire. These skills are still demonstrated during the Musical Ride performance.
Mark Avison, our Director of Equine Care worked with Yeoman both during his career with The Household Cavalry as well as in his retirement with us. Mark had the following fond memories of our beloved Yeoman “Yeoman was not the easiest horse to ride, as he only knew one speed and that was flat out! Hence he was a capable jumper on the Regimental Showjumping and Hunter Trial competitions and only for the more experienced riders within the Regiment. Yeoman became a valuable asset for The Household Cavalry’s famous Musical Ride as a lay down horse. I was fortunate to have him on the ride that represented the Regiment and the Armed Forces in the UAE, Oman, Switzerland and the UK, which included shows like the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Olympia and Horse of the Year Show where I had the privilege of leading him out of the Arena on retirement. “
As noted by Mark, we were incredibly honoured to retire such a special horse after his appearance at the 2017 Horse of The Year Show in Birmingham. Throughout his four and a half years spent with us, Yeoman proved himself to be an incredibly gentle and kind horse and often came onto the yard on visiting days to greet our supporters and give them lots of attention! It was just over a month ago, at the end of our Christmas Open Day, Neddy Noel, that Yeoman was part of the short parade receiving the love and appreciation of our loyal visitors after hearing his impressive story.
We know that this news will be equally as upsetting to our visitors as it is to all of us at The Horse Trust and in The Household Cavalry. Yeoman was a true gentle giant and really was one of those very special horses that we came to adore so incredibly much. He is and will be missed for an incredibly long time as he had such a special place in so many of our hearts. He was so often on the yard for the team and visitors to say hello to each day and put a smile on all our faces.
Recently, Yeoman was looking a little quiet in the morning and our Equine Care Team brought him in and found he had a very high temperature. While they were waiting for our vet to arrive he was nursed lovingly with hot mashes and given a nice fluffy bed. We are so sad to report that upon arrival of our vet, Yeoman was very sick and despite the best efforts from the whole team, Yeoman tragically deteriorated and the kindest thing to do for our black beauty was to say goodnight to him one last time.
Yeoman, we are so incredibly sad to have had to say goodbye to you after just short of five wonderful years loving and caring for you. You were truly a one-of-a-kind horse with such a gentle and kind soul who had the most incredible career and a loving and peaceful retirement. Accepting you are no longer with us is so incredibly difficult but we know you lived your life to the full and that you are now pain free galloping over the rainbow bridge to many of your former friends and colleagues. Rest in Peace now our handsome Yeoman, you have been a joy to know, a joy to love and care for, and you will be forever missed by us all. The Yeoman-shaped hole in our hearts will take some time to heal.
(Photo credit: Julian Portch)