‘It’s the most amazing job’
‘There have been so many highlights—performing the Musical Drive in front of The Queen at Windsor has to be one of the best,’ says L/bdr Toni Pilley, 22. ‘The adrenaline rush as you wait to go into the arena is like nothing else.
‘I joined the Troop to have a career with horses. Growing up in Sheffield, I had my own pony, doing local shows, a bit of showjumping and crosscountry, but I had to learn how to do things the military way. The kit is different and you have to be able to vault on and ride one-handed, carrying a sword.
‘I’m a wheel driver for my sub-section and I’m in charge of our stables. I like to think we’ve got the best sub-section; we’re constantly skipping out [the stables]. As soon as you see a poo, it’s picked up.
‘Sherlock [stable name Nugget] is the horse I ride in the gun team. We’ve formed a real bond. He’s a chunky little horse, but he’s got a real pop on him and we compete in the Services’ showjumping competitions. There are so many opportunities here; I’ve just done my army riding instructors’ certificate, so I’d like to progress with that.’