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‘It was a pleasure and honour to serve you’: farewell to Family Cavalry veteran who lived life to the total

  • The Horse Trust has said a heartbroken farewell to a “dear friend” in former Household Cavalry horse Auriol, who has been put down aged 27.

    The “incredibly loving” 16.3hh gelding retired to the charity in 2011 after his mounted regiment service, during which he took part in ceremonial occasions including state visits and Trooping the Colour. He also performed in the Household Cavalry musical ride, which “took him to many exotic locations around the world”. His final duty was as part of the Horse Trust’s 125th anniversary parade in 2011.

    “Auriol enjoyed a restful and happy retirement with us,” a spokesman for the charity said. “He was much loved by the grooms and became well known for his extremely cheeky yet loving personality. A particular fan of field change days, Auriol was often the first to the gate ready to gallop to pastures new.”

    Auriol formed a “very special and heartwarming bond” with former Greater Manchester Police horse Fairfax. The pair were inseparable until Fairfax’s death.

    “Sadly, Auriol had suffered with arthritis for some time and our vet tried several different combinations of painkillers to help him continue to live a happy and peaceful life,” the spokesman said. “We were so pleased that we managed to get his pain under control and that he had returned to enjoying his time with his friends and the grooms.”

    But last month Auriol sustained a severe bout of colic that would have required surgery. This was felt not to be in his best interests owing to his other conditions, so “the kindest thing to do for him was to say goodbye”.

    “Auriol, words simply can’t describe how heartbroken we are to say farewell to you, dear friend,” the spokesman said. “You have touched the lives of all who knew you, both in your career and in your retirement.

    “Accepting you are no longer with us is so incredibly difficult but we know you lived your life to the fullest and that you are now pain-free galloping over the rainbow bridge with Fairfax. It has been both a joy and an honour to serve you after your years of dedicated service.

    “Rest in peace Auriol, you will be sorely missed.”

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