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The world’s oldest horse charity remembers our nation’s War Horses

Horse Trust World War 1 Ambulance

The Horse Trust, looks back at 100 years of helping war horses throughout the conflicts of the last century.

Founded in 1886, to help London’s working horses the outbreak of WW1 in 1914 drove the charity to new heights. Known at the time as The Home of Rest for Horses its patrons were inspired to help the plight of war horses on the front line and provided the first ever motorised horse ambulance to transport wounded horses from the front line in France.

The charity’s 1916 Annual Report reveals that in two years this ambulance travelled around 13,000 miles and carried in excess of 1,000 injured horses. So successful was its operation that the War Office commissioned 13 more of them and there were 14 horse ambulances operating across the battlefields of France at the end of the war.

To this day the charity maintains a close relationship with Britain’s armed forces helping horses that have served in the army, providing many with a dignified retirement after years of service.

The charities very first war veteran, San Toy, retired to their Home of Rest in 1919 after serving in both the Boer and WW1 campaigns, and there he stayed until his death in 1923.

Perhaps the best known ex-army resident of modern times is Sefton, who was critically injured when the IRA bombed Hyde Park and Regent’s Park in 1982. After recovering from his injuries he returned to service in the Household Cavalry for two years, before retiring to The Horse Trust where he lived until he sadly passed away aged 30 in 1993.

Currently The Horse Trust is home to horses who have served in the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, The Kings Troop, The Light Cavalry HAC and The Royal Mews. Commando retired from The Blues and Royals of The Household Cavalry in August 2012. He is one of the few horses that has participated in the Royal Wedding, both Golden and Diamond Jubilee parades and has also been a Standard Bearer and an Officer’s Charger.

Horse Trust Home of Rest 125th Army Parade
Horse Trust Home of Rest 125th Army Parade

Army horses work hard serving our country for many years. The Horse Trust is honoured to provide a place of rest for horses like Commando when they retire from service. The Horse Trust relies on donations to help us care for retired working horses such as Commando.

To donate, visit The Horse Trust website: www.horsetrust.org.uk

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