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Retired Household Cavalry horse, Harvester, admiring his new home

Meet Twelve New Retirees from the Household Cavalry, Police, and Light Cavalry

In a moment of heartfelt farewells as well as exciting new beginnings, twelve extraordinary horses have retired to The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses after years of dedicated service and distinguished careers. Nine came from the Household Cavalry, two from the police (Lancashire and Metropolitan Mounted Branches), and one from the Light Cavalry.

The first to enter our gates in Buckinghamshire was military lorry number one, holding the first three Household Cavalry horses: Kilimanjaro, Jaipur and Harvester. The following six Cavalry horses, Odin, Legolas, Knightsbridge, Kimberly, Iago and Incognito arrived shortly afterwards.

Their names send more of a message than just their identity, with the first letter representing the year they earned their titles. Harvester served for 11 years, Incognito for 12 years, Kilimanjaro, Knightsbridge and Kimberly served for 14 years, and so on.

Kilimanjaro, one of the nine Household Cavalry horses to retire is fondly known as Killer, yet his nickname is no precedence for his sweet nature. His previous rider accompanied him during retirement, his love for him apparent judging by the round trip he took from Hyde Park barracks, to Melton Mowbray where the newly retired Household Cavalry horses temporarily reside, and back down south to our Home of Rest in Buckinghamshire, where they journeyed together one last time.

Beautiful 16.3hh Kimberly was the only mare out of nine, her calm nonchalant behaviour and refined appearance winning our hearts as soon as she stepped off the lorry. Knightsbridge stood out as the only trumpeter of the group, championing a beautifully distinctive grey coat (which wasn’t so grey a couple of hours after arrival as he became acquainted with his new paddock!).

It was quite the sight witnessing the group of Cavalry Blacks plus Knightsbridge galloping off into acres of fresh grass after their military headcollars were removed for one final time. Their new neighbours, including mares Charisma and her friend Elizabeth, HRH Princess Anne’s former charger, seemingly dropped ten years off their ages from all the excitement!

A spokesperson for the Household Cavalry said;

“Their faithful service deserves the upmost admiration, and they are all truly the most deserving of a well-earned retirement.”

Between our military horse retirees they have accumulated quite the impressive reputations, taking part in ceremonial occasions such as Major General’s Inspection, Trooping the Colour, State Opening of Parliament, Regimental Training, State Visits, the Diamond and Platinum Jubilee, Coronation, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, the weddings of Prince William and Prince Harry, the Platinum Pageant, the Musical Ride and The Band.

Also to join our herd that day (albeit in much smaller lorries) included a wonderful 17.2hh Shire horse named Poppy, a former Lancashire police horse who retired due to recurring lameness. During her career, Poppy took part all types of police patrol work, from large football matches and events to Remembrance Day parades (which was very fitting as she was named Poppy after Armistice Day), the Jubilee Parade in May 2022 where she led a full military parade with a full band behind her along with her equine colleague, PH Guild, plus much more.

Our second police horse, Yachtsman arrived after 3 years spent with the Metropolitan Mounted Branch. He sadly retired early due to a Suspensory Ligament Injury and was described by a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Mounted Branch as;

“A completely and utterly lovable thug who can be boisterous and clumsy at times, and very kind, affectionate, inquisitive… with very little spatial awareness!” 

Last and certainly not least was Sky, a beautiful dark bay mare who spent four and a half years working with the Light Cavalry as part of their Ceremonial Team. At the age of 25 signs of her age crept in and it was decided that it is in her best interests to grant her a peaceful and well-deserved retirement. A spokesperson from the Light Cavalry said:

“Sky has been a massive part of the team here at the Light Cavalry and she has a group of wonderful supporting riders that love and adore her. At 25 there are clear sign that she is ageing, and we are grateful to be able to give her the dignified retirement that she deserves.”

It was an emotional day and there wasn’t a dry eye as the horses galloped together amongst new pastures, marking the beginning of their retirements. We’re overjoyed to be able to provide these magnificent animals with a well-deserved rest, plenty of carrots and of course those highly adored neck scratches! Despite their age they still have a spring in their step and a new lease of life.

Jeanette Allen, CEO of The Horse Trust, commented:

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide a blissful retirement to this amazing group of equine public servants. We have lots of new personalities to get to know and that’s hugely exciting. These horses deserve their ease after a life of public service and we are truly honoured to be able to provide that for them all.”


The Horse Trust relies entirely on public donations to continue caring for retired service horses and rescues. Please consider supporting us.


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