This month we’re shining a light on our Director of Fundraising & Communications, Jess. Jess…
We share with you today the very sad news of the passing of retired military horse, Rommel.
A larger–than–life character with many quirks, Rommel, also known as Bob, will be very missed by us here at The Horse Trust but also by his wider connections from his working life at the Light Cavalry Honourable Artillery Company (HAC).
Rommel (Bob) was a horse of many talents, who spent time working for the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery before joining the Light Cavalry HAC in 2008. Whilst with the Light Cavalry HAC, based at Flemish Farm, Windsor, Rommel attended every Military Parade; The Lord Mayors Show, Annual Inspection and the British Military Tournament, to name a few.
Caroline Quested, Stable Manager for the Light Cavalry from 2004 – 2021 reminisced about Rommel’s quirky attitude when he was out and about on one such Military Parade:
“After attending the British Military Tournament held at Earl’s Court, London, Bob decided he didn’t want to load on the horsebox. We held up the dismantling of the tournament for 2 hours. Arena surfaces and stables were all waiting to be moved to the Olympia Horse Show. To remove Bob from this hold up we led him from Earl’s Court through London to Knightsbridge Barracks, just in a head collar as all the tack had been sent back to the yard. Bob did not bat an eyelid on his trip through London, we even stopped for pictures outside tourist attractions! When we met up with our horsebox at Knightsbridge Barracks, Bob proceeded to walk straight on the box! All the other horses, 11 of them, I swear, looked at him and just rolled their eyes. Bob was very smug, and you couldn’t help but laugh at him.”
Rommel also attended various Skills at Arms displays around the UK, which sees horses perform a number of different skills relating back to the time when horses were utilised in combat and the events hone these such skills. The most popular being tent pegging, which requires the rider to use a lance to pierce and carry off a small ground target while at a gallop, which Rommel has actually demonstrated at our event Horses, Hounds and Heroes before his retirement to us. Rommel could turn his hoof to anything, along with all of his working talents, he also loved his jumping and dressage and spent many hours hacking in Windsor Great Park.
Rommel was a huge character at the Light Cavalry stables, he could test his riders on the ground and he carried this attitude with him into his retirement, as he was well known by our grooms for trying a cheeky nip when he was in a less agreeable mood.
When he retired to us in 2016, Rommel was struggling with issues in both his fore and hind limbs meaning it was no longer comfortable for him to continue to work. In his retirement, his zest for life never dwindled and he always kept our grooms on their toes but, despite his erratic moods, he has been a pleasure to care for in his twilight years and his sense of humour often shone through, with him featuring on our social media for ‘Tongue Out Tuesday’ on several occasions!
Sadly, Rommel recently suffered from an acute case of colic which deteriorated very rapidly and despite immediate intervention from our vet, it was decided that the kindest thing to do was put Rommel to sleep.
We were honoured to have looked after you in your golden years and we’ll miss your cheeky antics and unique zeal for life. May you find peace and comfort across the rainbow bridge, as we find comfort knowing you are free from pain.
“Bob was a true legend and a backbone of the Light Cavalry HAC stables. He made you smile every day and brought joy to so many people.” – Caroline Quested, Stable Manager at The Light Cavalry 2004 – 2021
The Horse Trust relies on public donations to continue to give a forever home to retired military, police, Royal Mews and RDA horses and to care for neglected rescued horses. If you would like to be part of our story, please consider a donation today.