History was made at Melton’s vet camp when eight regimental mascots and their handlers arrived to take part in the first ever training camp for the iconic military animals.
The aim of the event at the Defence Animal Training Regiment was to promote the well-being and care of mascots and for the handlers to get expert advice on their care.
Animal training and veterinary specialists of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Household Cavalry and King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery were on hand to give guidance over the 10 days of the camp.
Alamein, the majestic drum horse of The Queen’s Royal Hussars, joined the Welsh mountain pony mascot of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon’s Guards (QDG) and six fellow official British Army mascots at the exercise.
Farrier Maj Mark Holland who handles the QDG’s mascot, said: “It has not only reinforced the knowledge we already have, but we’ve also learned some new things.”
Army equitation instructor, Corp Maj Daniel Powell, who helped organise the training, said: “Some handlers have been looking after their regimental mascots for years and others for just a few months, so passing on knowledge and experience was valuable.”
The final event was a parade inspected by Lt Col Paddy Williams MC, commanding officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the presentation of awards.
Lance Corp Cruachan IV, of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, was champion mascot.
Mascots are now back with their regiments to continue with ceremonial duties.