02/02/2010 The Horse Trust Says Goodbye To Its Last Drum Horse

The Horse Trust has sadly said goodbye to ex-Household Cavalry drum horse Leonidas and miniature Shetland pony Thuglet.

Leo was the last remaining drum horse living at the sanctuary in Speen, Buckinghamshire, after the other drum horses Janus and Constantine died in September and December respectively.

"We are very sad at the loss of Leo, particularly so soon after losing Janus and Constantine. Leo was well-loved by staff and visitors to the sanctuary, and will be particularly missed by his groom Matt Bradley," said Shirley Abbott, the Yard Manager at The Horse Trust.

27-year old Leo, a 17.2hh piebald gelding, worked at the Household Cavalry for 18 years. His royal duties included guard duty in Whitehall, the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony, escorting Her Majesty and the royal family and participating in riding displays.

Leo had an impeccable record with the Household Cavalry, aside from one occasion where - during a Royal parade in Hyde Park - he left the ceremony to canter around the park, carrying his drums and musician with him. Leo, who retired to the home in 2004, suffered a suspected heart attack on Friday and died peacefully in the arms of his groom Matt.

Matt said, “Leo was an awesome character and all I can say he was my boy and I shall really miss him.”

The Horse Trust has also said goodbye to Thuglet, a cheeky Shetland pony who has lived at the sanctuary since 2007.

29-year-old Thuglet, a 36 inch bay Shetland gelding, arrived at the sanctuary from an animal rescue centre in Hertfordshire that closed down.

"Thuglet was a very cheeky character and will be remembered fondly by everyone who knew him," said Shirley Abbott, the Yard Manager at The Horse Trust. "His personality certainly wasn't proportional to his size - at times he acted more like a 16-hand horse than a 36-inch Shetland Pony!"

Thuglet died on Thursday of natural causes.