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The Royal Yacht, The Danneborg II

despite the tour being given in Danish, we were able to see some phenomenal fortifications as well as a landlocked submarine.

alone be given a guided tour. We were excellently hosted again by a Danish Naval Officer and our five minute tour soon turned into half an hour.

The day of the Escort was again remarkable owing to the access the public were given to their Sovereign. Queen Margrethe arrived via her Royal Yacht, the Danneborg II, before being escorted to the town hall by the Guard Hussars. While spectating from the dock we were offered the chance to have a look around the Royal Yacht by the Crown Equerry; an opportunity too good to miss. It was a rare chance to see such a vessel let

Despite a delayed flight home, the visit was a huge success and we were able to gain new ideas on best practice and experience the inner workings of a unit similar to our own. Our hosts, to a man, were incredibly generous, polite and made us feel welcome at all times. In fact they were so hospitable that all three Household Cavalry officers have had concerning symptoms of gout since the trip.

The Dartmoor Derby

by Captain T L Seccombe, The Life Guards

A

n e-mail with just a link can be the birth of an exercise, and that is exactly what happened when the Commanding Officer sent me a link with a blank subject heading. By googling ‘Liberty Trails’ and clicking through to the Dartmoor Derby you will arrive at a polished, luxurious looking website that offers riding experiences and holidays set in Dartmoor. The Dartmoor Derby was inspired by the Mongol Derby and involves participants riding long distances each day and camping by night in yurts. A pilot event staged last year was successful, so 2016 was billed as its inaugural year. A meeting was set up with the event organiser and there must have been some miscommunication as later an invoice for £15k was delivered based on six riders taking part in the event. Rather than pull out, the Household Cavalry philosophy of ‘make it happen’ went into full effect. With very little funds and an event that didn’t fall into the category of Sport, AT or Individual Military Training, the author’s organisational skills were tested to a level not seen since his mountain biking battlefield tour in Monte Cassino. The team of six riders and four enablers

LCpl Morgan and Tpr Hare attend to the Cow shed roof that is soon to become luxury stabling

The team, without author, approximately 15 miles into the first day. Note missing silks due to the high winds

departed for Dartmoor on a bright and sunny Monday morning and spent the next three days putting up penning and fixing an old cow shed. LCpl Morgan, our exercise medic, and Tpr Hare, our driver, threw themselves into the hard work that was required to turn a dilapidated farmyard into stabling fit for paying participants. The horses arrived on Thursday and were accommodated in a farm that was literally on the perimeter of ‘The Moor’ or properly HMP Dartmoor. It is an impressive Grade II listed granite structure built in 1808 and, along with the local town Princetown, has seemingly slipped into the 21st Century. By Friday, all of the work that was required to earn our place on the event was complete; even after being issued only half of an eighteen by twenty four foot tent. LCoH Backhouse was dispatched to collect the remaining half from Windsor, only to be met by a very angry Regimental Quarter Master Corporal who was under the impression he

was trying to hand his half back into the stores and was told not to come back until he had found it. This argument went on for some time... With Saturday morning came the start of the Derby and we set off along our planned route. The amount of rain made the going relatively treacherous as peat bogs, not present or seen on the recce, suddenly materialised. If a horse went into a peat bog it could go up to its hocks and present a serious problem. The going started slow and the mist descended as we approached our first summit, this made navigating difficult but we made the first three summits on time. A canter along a track resulted in one shoe flying off and narrowly missing Tpr Mathews’s head. He carried on with a wide smile and positive attitude that remained throughout. By one o’clock we were ready for lunch and, although we had army rations, the organisers had laid on a luxury picnic. Tprs Sparks and Calvert tucked into

Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 57

Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
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