Former British Army horse Denzil, described as a true gentleman, has been farewelled by the Horse Trust, where he enjoyed a three-year retirement following his distinguished 19-year military career.
Denzil retired to the Buckinghamshire-based charity in February 2011 after arthritis made it difficult for him to carry on working.
Trust chief executive Jeanette Allen said Denzil’s arthritis had worsened and his quality of life had deteriorated as his medication was no longer having the required effect.
His vet and caregivers felt it was kinder to Denzil to let him rest in peace after a long and distinguished career in service, and three happy years of retirement, she said.
“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,” Allen said.
Denzil, an Irish Draught-Thoroughbred cross, 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.
He spent his last five 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.
The manager at the Light Cavalry Stable, Caroline Quested, said: “Denzil joined the Light Cavalry in 2005 and served for five years. 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 13 years, and he will always have a permanent place in my heart as a very special horse.”
In his time with the Light Cavalry, 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
He was decribed as having character by the bucket load.
He was a diligent horse who got on with his duties, but did make national headlines in January 2008 when he famously chewed the fire alarm box next to his stable at the Light Cavalry and set off the alarm at 2am. Windsor Fire and Rescue Service responded to the call.