Penny came from humble beginnings, but her rags-to-riches story has made those who rescued her proud.
She arrived at a British rescue centre in 2001 as a starving and unhandled five-year-old horse.
She was rehabilitated and went on to serve with the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery for 12 years.
This weekend, Penny, an Irish Draught Horse, is returning to World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm, in Blackpool, to begin her retirement.
She will officially be returned to the charity on Saturday, during its annual open day at the farm.
World Horse Welfare Penny, as she is officially known, performed her military duties as a member of a gun team with distinction.
“Penny – or Hallmark as she is known in the Troop – has been a real asset to the regiment,” said Captain Owen Beynon-Brown.
“However, it is now time for her to enjoy life at a more sedate pace.
“Penny does everything which is asked of her. She’s always right in there doing the work, but she can now enjoy a very well-earned retirement.”
During her years of service, Penny has been involved in Royal Salutes at major ceremonial events, including the funeral of the Queen Mother, state visits, Trooping the Colour, and even taken part in preparations for the Royal Wedding.
Penny also played a key role in the world famous Musical Drive at venues across the country, which involves a six-horse gun team demonstrating complicated and extraordinary skills of horsemanship, often at a flat out gallop.
World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm manager, Fran Williamson, recounted Penny’s background.
“It’s an amazing achievement that a rescued horse who arrived at Penny Farm back in 2001 as an emaciated and unhandled five-year-old has gone on to enjoy such a successful career. She is the ultimate example of the work of the charity.
“Penny’s success shows how, even after such a poor start, horses can be rehabilitated and go on to do astonishing things – it highlights just how important it is to give neglected horses a second chance.
“She will spend a few months at our Rescue and Rehoming Centre adjusting back to civilian life and, of course, meeting our visitors. Then she will be assessed with a view to finding a new home in our rehoming scheme in the future.”
The charity said it had a full programme of entertainment in store throughout the open day, including a performance by stunt rider Ben Atkinson, an amazing falconry display from Cuerden Birds of Prey, and a distinctive demonstration from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
There will be a chance to learn archery, join in with the fun on fairground rides, view timelessly classic cars, shop at craft stalls, and experience a bit of culture at the art exhibition.
The second Penny Farm Farriers Competition will also be running throughout the day, with farriers from across the British North West competing at several levels as they demonstrate the skills involved in their craft.
The day will start at 10am.