The Queen had the honour of naming the most senior animal in the British Army, a nine-year-old Drum Horse who holds the rank of Major. Her Majesty, 91, officially named him Perseus, the greatest hero in Greek mythology before the days of Heracles. The imposing animal, who stands at 17.1 hands high, towered over the monarch and was dressed in full ceremonial dress for the royal visit. Perseus is currently undergoing intensive, specialised training for the role as the Blues and Royals Drum Horse, and is set to pass out on the Queen's Birthday Parade next June.
Perseus stands at 17.1 hands high
During the visit, Her Majesty was accompanied by her son Prince Charles at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment barracks in London. She also came up close and personal to a horse painted with a skeleton. "Does that come off?" she joked to anatomist Gillian Higgins, who staged the demonstration to teach troopers about the anatomy of the animals they ride. Ms Higgins, of educational company Horses Inside Out, reassured the Queen that the paint was "water-based, hypoallergenic and non-toxic".
The Queen was joined by Prince Charles at the barracks
The Queen was also shown Johnnie, a young horse she gave to the Household Cavalry, which is undergoing training to be a charger for the Life Guards. "She's quite small," the Queen, who has an in-depth knowledge of horses, remarked. She gave Johnnie a polo, and joked "horrid" as the horse bared its teeth and curled its lip. In the stables, the monarch was also shown Wellesley, Prince William's grey charger which he rides at Trooping the Colour.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Queen has earned a total of £6,704,941 from her horses over the past 30 years. According to data compiled by myracing.com, the Queen has recorded 451 race wins with a win percentage of 15.9 per cent in this period. Last year, she banked a whopping £557,650 – her highest annual total winning ever.