In an emotionally-charged atmosphere, a dozen “extraordinary” horses arrived to enjoy their golden years at the Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses in England.  The twelve horses are all new retirees who have served in various official capacities.

A woman holding a grey horse.

Former Household Cavalry mount Knightsbridge surveys his new home. (The Horse Trust photo)

Harvester, Jaipur, Iago, Incognito, Kilimanjaro, Knightsbridge, Kimberly, Legolas and Odin were nine of the retired horses that served in the Household Cavalry, which is a ceremonial unit that take part in official parades, ceremonies, and state funerals. According to the Horse Trust, Kilimanjaro, or “Killer” as he is affectionately known, was joined on this eight-hour journey to retirement by his rider. A spokesperson for the Household Cavalry is quoted as saying, “Their faithful service deserves the upmost admiration, and they are all truly the most deserving of a well-earned retirement.”

Two horses – Poppy, a Shire mare, and Yachtsman – came from police mounted units in Lancashire and London. “A completely and utterly lovable thug who can be boisterous and clumsy at times, and very kind, affectionate, inquisitive… with very little spatial awareness!” a spokesperson with the Metropolitan Branch said of Yachtsman.

The final retiree was a 25-year-old mare named Sky who carried riders in the Light Cavalry,  a ceremonial division of the Honourable Artillery Company. “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,” said a spokesperson with the Light Cavalry commented to The Horse Trust. “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.”

The horses’ halters were removed and they were released and galloped off together in a field of green grass to start their new life. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide a blissful retirement to this amazing group of equine public servants,” Jeanette Allen, CEO of The Horse Trust said. “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.”