Longest serving military horse retires to grasses greener

 

Pic by Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC/Caters News

The longest serving military horse has now retired from a distinguished career as part of the household Calvary after nearly 22 years of service.

Viscount, a 17 hands high, black, gelding, has retired into a life of luxury after a glittering career which saw him carry senior officer, royalty and Lance Corporal Richard Jones, winner of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.

The Irish Sports Horse has now retired to the beautiful Chiltern countryside at the Horse Trust after his steadfast service to his country.

Jeanette Allen, CEO of the Horse Trust, said: “He is a grand old man and is starting to turn grey but he still thinks he is five years old.

“He loves being out in the field with his friends and everyone on the yard loves him.”

Viscount completed his military training at just five-years-old before passing out as a military horse in 1997 and went onto to become part of the Queen’s Life Guard and later the mount of royalty on ceremonial parades.

Pic by Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC/Caters News

Due to his calm disposition, Viscount had several different roles throughout his career, from carrying senior officers to being a mount for royalty on ceremonial parades.

In his final four years of service, the noble steed carried musicians from The Band of the Household Cavalry, including a certain Lance Corporal Richard Jones, the 2016 winner of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.

The Lance corporal took to his Facebook page to wish his faithful friend a happy retirement and thanked him for looking after him on parades.

Pic by Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC/Caters News

The post read: “Very proud of my favourite horse today retiring from public service in the Household Cavalry after 21 years. Always kept me safe on parade – enjoy your retirement, Viscount.”

Viscount was also lucky enough to be retired to the trust with a familiar friend, Vain Glory, who passed out the very same year as Viscount and was also part of the musical ride, as the lead horse, carrying the musical director.

Pic by Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC/Caters News

The loyal mount was retired to the Horse Trust in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, and was given a shower by the equine care time before being released in the fields.

Jeanette Allen, CEO of the Horse Trust, said: “The Horse Trust is extremely proud of our relationship with The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and providing horses like Viscount with a home in their retirement after a lifetime of public service is our privilege.

“With the help of our donors, we are able to provide these hard-working equine civil servants the opportunity to relax and enjoy their twilight years just being a horse in the beautiful surroundings of the Chiltern Hills.”