Mr Twister of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery retires
PUBLISHED: 12:29 19 May 2015 | UPDATED: 12:29 19 May 2015
Mr Twister, affectionately known as Bert, of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery has stepped out into the arena at Royal Windsor Horse Show for the very last time.
He is retiring to The Horse Trust in Buckinghamshire; the charity that specialises in providing a dignified home for service horses from the army and police, for their twilight years.
Our pictures show the ceremony at Royal Windsor Horse Show and Mr Twister starting to enjoy his retirement at The Horse Trust.
Mr Twister is a 16 year old black charger who has served in the King’s Troop RHA since 2005. His kind and affectionate nature has made him the stand out favourite of the Regiment.
Even a potentially life threatening injury sustained early in his career didn’t stop Mr Twister, his miraculous recovery meant he could continue to regularly lead out the world famous Musical Drive, take part in multiple Queen’s Birthday Parades and Royal Salutes and, steady as always as thousands lined the streets of central London. He was the Parade Commander’s Horse for Baroness Thatcher’s funeral in May 2013. Most recently Mr Twister was the Parade Commander’s Horse at the Opening Ceremony for the inaugural Invictus Games at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, watched worldwide by millions on BBC1. Due to his age, he has started to suffer from osteoarthritis, although this never affected his performance and drive, he still truly relishes being in the limelight.
Saturday 15 May was an extremely poignant day for Mr Twister and for the soldiers of The King’s Troop. Thanks to Royal Windsor Horse Show he greeted the crowds to have his saddle removed for the final time and was then handed over to The Horse Trust to live out his days at a gentler pace, away from the cameras, in the rolling hills of the Chilterns.
Commanding Officer of The King’s Troop RHA, Major Robert Skeggs says: “This is a big day for Bert and for all those of us who have had the privilege to work with this truly outstanding horse. We are extremely sorry to say goodbye but also immensely proud of him and thrilled that he will be retiring to The Horse Trust who care for so many of our country’s former service horses.”
Jeanette Allen, CEO of The Horse Trust adds: “We know these moments are always very emotional and we are thrilled to be giving this magnificent horse the retirement he deserves.” The Horse Trust is the oldest horse charity in the world and is entirely funded by donations. For more information about their work with retired and rescued horses, ponies and donkeys go to www.horsetrust.org.uk
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