Trust farewells longest-serving horse in the British Army

Remus after his arrival at The Horse Trust for his retirement. Photo: The Horse Trust
Remus after his arrival at The Horse Trust for his retirement. © The Horse Trust

Remus, who retired as the longest-serving horse in the British Army, has died peacefully at The Horse Trust.

The charity described Remus as a truly remarkable horse. He began his service in 1991 as a four-year-old and served for an incredible 21 years.

He retired to The Horse Trust last year, at the age of 26.

Remus, fondly known in the army as Reg, started as a Troop horse in the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, and latterly as an Officer’s Charger of the Household Division.

Despite being 16 hands and the smallest charger when he retired, he was known as a feisty horse with a big personality.

Officers were warned to “approach with caution” as Remus was well known for being stubborn and a bit tricky to handle.

When it was time for Remus to retire, the army scanned his micro-chip to double check it was him as he looked so amazing for his age.

The charity said that although everyone was careful to never take him for granted, Remus did mellow in his retirement and was loved by everyone, particularly by his groom, Carly.

As is the case with many older horses, Remus suffered from chronic arthritis, which had become worse. Recently, he had been struggling to move without pain.

Remus, right, during his career with the British Army.
Remus, right, during his career with the British Army.

“Vets and staff at The Horse Trust made the difficult decision that it would be kinder to say farewell to this special horse before the cold of winter further affected his joints,” the trust said.

Sadly, in the same week, the trust also said goodbye to one of its most popular residents, whose coffin joint arthritis had deteriorated in recent weeks.

Our Chester was an eventing horse before he joined the army in 1994, becoming the Riding Master’s Charger at The Household Cavalry Mounted Section.

It was said that riding Chester was like sitting in the middle of a very comfortable sofa.

His rider, former Riding Master of The Household Cavalry, Sandy Sanderson, said: “Our Chester was my charger for most of his career; he was a brilliant horse and a true gentleman. The Horse Trust has a strong bond with The Household Cavalry Mounted Section and it is wonderful to know that so many horses can retire there to the peaceful countryside.”

The Horse Trust has been providing retirement and respite for military and other working horses since it was founded in the 19th century.

Our Chester during his retirement at The Horse Trust. Photo: The Horse Trust
Our Chester during his retirement at The Horse Trust. © The Horse Trust

It has a long history of working alongside the British Army.

During World War 1, it provided the first motorised horse ambulance to help transport wounded horses from the front line in France.

The ambulance travelled 13,000 miles in just 2 years and carried over 1000 horses to veterinary hospitals where they could be treated.

The War Office commissioned more and by the end of the war 14 of these vehicles were in operation in France, saving many thousands of horse’s lives.

After the war, the trust retired horses that had served on the front line and today this work continues as military horses come to the Chiltern countryside for their retirement.

The trust says it is proud of its relationship with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, saying it was a privilege to provide horses like Remus and Our Chester with a home in their retirement.


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