This month we’re shining a light on our Director of Fundraising & Communications, Jess. Jess…
It is with great sadness that we come to you with the news of the passing of retired Royal Mews carriage horse, Tom.
One of our longest staying residents, beautiful big bay Irish draught Tom came to us in 2006 from the Royal Mews. He was retired from duty due to an irregular heartbeat that put him at risk of a sudden, fatal heart attack meaning he was no longer deemed safe to pull the carriages of the royal family. Prior to his retirement, Tom spent six years working at the Royal Mews, taking part in many state occasions working at both Buckingham Palace and Sandringham to pull carriages containing various members of the royal family and other important state visitors.
Despite his condition, Tom was happy and healthy on a daily basis and whilst a heart attack was possible, it was not a certainty and some horses can live long lives beyond their diagnosis, as proven by Tom himself!
Tom has been with us for over 16 years, making him one of our longest staying residents and his passing is terribly sad for all the many connections he made during his life here with us. He has also been friends with so many of the equine retirees and rescues who have passed through our fields, his calm nature settling many new residents into our herd throughout the years. A true gentle giant, standing at 17.2hh, Tom loved nothing more than attention and was more like a very large dog rather than a horse, as he would follow you around the field to be close at hand for any potential strokes and scratches.
In his years here with us, Tom has been closely monitored by our vet due to his heart condition and as he advanced in years, he had suffered with several additional conditions, such as osteoarthritis and equine asthma. Unfortunately, these conditions deteriorated recently and despite keeping Tom fit and healthy, the combination of ongoing illnesses became too complex to manage in a way that would give Tom good quality of life going forwards. It was decided that the kindest thing to do was put Tom to sleep and allow him to be at rest from these many ailments.
Tom’s loss will be sorely felt here, as he had become such a huge part of the Horse Trust family during his years here with us. His legacy as one of our longest staying residents serves as a great example of the work we do to give ex working horses like Tom the longest, happiest retirement that we can offer, living out their days in comfort with their friends until they are ready to make their final journey over the rainbow bridge. Rest in peace Tom, you will be missed.
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.