A “hero” Household Cavalry horse who was the longest serving military horse in history has died in retirement aged 30.
Viscount, fondly known as “Biscuit, retired to the Horse Trust in 2017 after serving his country for 21 years and 11 months. During this time he took part in a variety of duties including working as an officer’s charger in major state parades, escorting royalty and playing an integral role in training new recruits.
“Viscount’s last four ceremonial seasons saw him carrying the musicians from the band of The Household Cavalry, an honour only the steadiest and most consistent horses would be trusted with. These horses must be ridden with limited instruction as the musicians predominately give direction using their legs whilst carrying their instruments,” said a Horse Trust spokesman.
“He mastered this magnificently, as was expected from such a hardworking and composed horse.”
The Horse Trust was “honoured” to welcome the gelding and he enjoyed five “well-deserved” years of retirement.
“Viscount was a joy to look after and could often be found in his field with fellow military friends, Auriol and Aquaba,” he said.
“We were devastated when recently Viscount developed sudden neurological signs. This was a complication of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction [PPID]. Our team had been carefully managing his condition until that point with medication but sadly it reached a stage where it was no longer treatable and the kindest thing for us to do for our hero horse was to say goodnight to him one last time.”
The spokesman said the whole team was “incredibly sad” to say goodbye to Viscount.
“We knew that sadly it was his time and that the greatest service we could give him in return for all his years of service to our country was to let him pass away peacefully,” he said.
“Goodnight Viscount, we miss you ever so much but we are so grateful to have known and cared for you throughout your twilight years. Sleep tight now Biscuit, you were a true hero and you’ve more than earned your rest. We will never, ever forget you.”