Jed is a giant among horses, and is stepping into retirement after his diligent work in caring for the Queen’s estate.
Now, at 19, the 17.3-hand black shire gelding has been welcomed into the fold at the Horse Trust’s sanctuary in Speen, Buckinghamshire, after nearly 10 years service with The Royal Parks Agency.
Jed, who wore a special retirement sash, was formally retired in May 2012 by the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and in the presence of mounted members of Riding for the Disabled.
The Queen presented him with a retirement rosette during the May 15 “Wild London” Diamond Jubilee Event in Richmond Park to honour his decade of loyal service.
Jed was originally bought as one of a pair from Bass Brewery, in Burton on Trent, in 1998 to help with the estate management of The Royal Parks.
His work, which was predominantly in London’s Richmond Park, included, in the summer months, road verge cutting, rolling bracken to preserve grassland and chain harrowing bridleways and paddocks.
In the winter he worked extracting timber and bringing it back to the sawmill for processing. This wood would then be used to repair fences and build special crates to protect the trees from the grazing deer.
Jed was semi-retired two years ago when he started to suffer from arthritis and when, sadly, his working partner, Forte, passed away.
After that Jed was no longer required to pull anything behind him but he continued to thoroughly enjoy meeting people at events such as the Heavy Horse Parade in Portsmouth with The Royal Parks Foundation and the Barnes Parade on Wimbledon Common.
Sandra Croxall, from The Royal Parks Team, said: “Jed has been a loyal serving Shire and invaluable to the work undertaken in the Royal Parks, as well as undertaking public engagements, meet and greets and local community events.
“His time has now come to be retired and live out the rest of his days peacefully and we are delighted he has a wonderful, new home at The Horse Trust where he can do just that.”
Horse Trust chief executive Jeanette Allen said: “Jed was turned out in the fields last week with rescue mare Crunchie, and he has followed her around devotedly ever since.
“It was lovely to see Jed cantering around the fields and he couldn’t have looked happier with his new home and his new friend.”
Richmond Park is the largest of London’s eight Royal Parks and the biggest enclosed space in the city. It is visited by millions of Londoners and tourists annually. It is London’s largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation.