11/05/2016 Farewell Valerian

It has been a deeply challenging couple of weeks for everyone here at The Horse Trust and for our friends and colleagues in the military. Just as Royal Windsor Show was getting underway, celebrating HM The Queen's 90th birthday and chaired by Col. Stuart Cowan, his former charger Valerian had to be put to sleep. Valerian, also affectionately called Valerie was a simply outstanding boy who served in the Blues and Royals for 17 years before retiring to us in 2012. A couple of years ago he developed a very wobbly gait and we were concerned that would be the end for him, however thanks to the expertise of Prof Richard Piercy, Valerian was diagnosed with arthritis of the neck and given guided steroid injections that gave him two extra years of very happy life, making it to 25 years old. Valerian was such a special old man. He had been the charger for Silverstick, the officer in command of the entire Household Cavalry, mounted and armoured regiments, and had finished his army career in the band due to his extremely gentle nature. Visitors here loved him as he always loved cuddles and attention, he just really didn't like rain! There came a day he simply could no longer get up by himself so with his groom Jen with him, we said goodbye. A huge loss, his squidgy nose looking out over his stable door waiting for kisses is no longer there and we all miss him dreadfully. We are so thankful that advances in veterinary science gave him those extra two precious happy years but we miss him deeply now. Goodnight gorgeous boy. We're sure there are plenty of kisses and ginger nuts wherever you are now! The Colonel bids you farewell and we all thank you for your service, and your cuddles!