Out to pasture
AFTER 21 years and 11 months, Viscount (right), the longest-serving military horse, has retired. The 17hh black Irish gelding moved from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment to the Horse Trust’s Home of Rest in Buckinghamshire, where horses have been finding respite since the Boer War. Upon sighting the beautiful Chiltern hills, Viscount swiftly befriended fellow Household veteran Belize, who retired on the same day. The previous record holder for longest-serving military horse was Remus, who retired in 2012 after 21 years.
‘With the help of our donors, we are able to provide these hard-working equine civil servants with the opportunity to relax and enjoy their twilight years just being a horse,’ says Horse Trust CEO Jeanette Allen.
Founded in 1886, the Horse Trust (www.horsetrust.org.uk) is the oldest horse charity in the world and is entirely funded by public donation. During the First World War, trust patrons provided the first motorised ambulance to transport wounded horses from the frontline in France. By the end of the war, 14 further vehicles were in operation, commissioned by the War Office, saving the lives of thousands of horses.
Today, as well as providing a retreat for retired working horses and those that have suffered neglect or cruelty, the trust funds research into equine diseases and offers training for owners and professionals.