19/09/2016 Goodbyes hurt the most when the story was not finished – Mr Twister

We are truly heartbroken. Having had a successful surgery to treat a very rare bone cyst in his central tarsal bone, Mr Twister/ Bert, suffered a post-operative complication and had to be put to sleep on the 18th September. He had suffered many injuries in his life that required medication so that in the end a general anaesthetic and morphine for his pain, caused him to suffer a fatal colic. There was no turning back and there was no choice. At least he was pain free. We are devastated to lose this truly amazing horse and so is everyone at the RVC equine hospital who did such an amazing job with an almost impossible diagnosis and then an outstanding surgery. The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, the Defence Animal Centre and the Royal Army Veterinary Corps are also in shock and deeply upset at Bertie's loss. We had all so sincerely hoped that this surgery would give Bertie a few more happy years in retirement with us but it was not to be. He served over 10 years in the military, in every kind of ceremonial parade and often as the Parade Commander's charger, leading from the front. The pinnacle of his extraordinary career was leading the cortege at Baroness Thatcher's state funeral and keeping his steady pace and calm temperament even in the face of protestors trying to disrupt his progress. Most importantly, the reason we are all so upset is that simply put, Bertie was just about the kindest horse you could ever wish to meet. Yes he was exceptionally handsome and reliable in work but he was also gentle, sweet natured and loved people. We have so many memories in such a relatively short time, from his grand ceremonial retirement at Royal Windsor Horse Show (where he thought he was a four years old again!) to his more recent avid flirtation with Silverdale of Lancashire Police. He was a true gentleman, everyone who met him fell in love with him and he's gone too soon at 17. Bertie, you had an incredible life and you were possibly one of the most loved horses to have ever lived. You left your mark on all who cared for you, rode you, treated you or met you over a stable door. We did our best for you, we miss you, we can't yet really believe you're gone. Sleep tight now, pain free and with comrades who have gone before. Beautiful boy, there are so many who will never forget you, no-one here will.