13/02/2014 Sad farewell to long serving army horse Denzil

A horse that has spent nearly two decades serving in the British army has sadly passed away this week.

Denzil spent 19 years with the army

Handsome Irish Draught X TB Denzil spent 19 years serving with the army, he began his career with the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery before moving to the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and then the Royal Engineers Saddle Club. Denzil spent his last 5 years’ service working for the Light Cavalry Honourable Artillery Company in Windsor where he took part in ceremonial duties, including tent pegging and musical rides.

Denzil was a classic all-rounder

Caroline Quested, Manager at the Light Cavalry Stable said ‘Denzil joined the Light Cavalry in 2005 and served for 5yrs. Previous to this, he was at the Royal Engineers Saddle Club with me. Denzil was your classic all-rounder. He did all the parades with us as a troopers horse and an officers horse. He tent pegged, jumped, did side saddle, hacked, schooled and could be ridden by beginners through to advanced riders. I have had the pleasure of knowing Denzil for 13yrs, and he will always have a permanent place in my heart as a very special horse.’

The Light Cavalry HAC

In his time with the Light Cavalry HAC, Denzil had various ceremonial duties, including escorting the Lady Mayoress at the Lord Mayor's Show in the City of London. He also took part in equestrian displays, such as tent pegging, and taught people of all ages to ride, including trainees from the Defence Medical Services Training Group

Denzil's retirement

Denzil retired to Buckinghamshire-based charity The Horse Trust in February 2011 after arthritis made it difficult for him to carry on working. The charity has been helping working horses for 128 years and specialised in providing a dignified retirement for horses who have served in the police of military. The tradition of admitting military working horses began after WW1 when the charity gave a home to their first war horse “San Toy” who had survived both the Boer War and WW1.

A huge character

All horses have character, but Denzil had character in bucket loads! You wouldn't have to wait to spot his striking white star in the field, before you made it through the gate he'd be there next to you, sticking his nose in your pocket! In January 2008 Denzil famously chewed the fire alarm box next to his stable at the Light Cavalry and set off the alarm at 2.00 am. Windsor Fire and Rescue Service responded to the call and the incident made headlines in the national press!

Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive at The Horse Trusts said: ‘The decision to say goodbye was made as Denzil's arthritis has worsened and his quality of life had deteriorated as his medication was no longer having the required effect. His vet and staff at The Horse Trust made the very difficult decision that at this stage it would be kinder to Denzil to let him rest in peace after a long and distinguished career in service, and three happy year’s retirement. Denzil was a true gentleman and one of the friendliest and most inquisitive horses you could hope to meet, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.’