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their smoked salmon and quails eggs as LCoH Jones attended to the loose shoes and replaced the missing one. It is safe to say our horses are not familiar with the type of terrain on Dartmoor. The rocky ground and protruding stones made a marked difference from Bodney and Knightsbridge. We carried on into the afternoon with sideways rain which eventually lifted into overcast grey cloud. There were a couple of very technical descents that really tested our riding as a false move could end in a nasty fall. We crossed several streams and returned to our first campsite at approximately four o’clock in the afternoon, six hours after we had set off. The horses were put into the stabling and then our problems really started. A thunderstorm was no match for the tents that had been put up for the paying participants so an evening of moving luggage out of waterlogged tents and ferrying guests around into hastily arranged accommodation ensued. We finally got to bed at two o’clock in the morning, absolutely soaked through, although Tprs Mathews, Calvert and Sparks somehow managed to miss the rain and instead had a memorable supper keeping BBC Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox entertained; who then thanked them by tweeting about it and name checking the Regiment. The morning revealed some very stiff horses with some saddle rubs so the

Holkham, with the white face, leading the charge at the canter to the second summit under cloudy skies over Dartmoor

decision was made to keep exercise to a minimum. The soldiers switched to helping the rest of the participants enjoy their day and we manned the lunchtime checkpoint and helped with loose shoes and any injuries. The upcoming state visit of Colombia meant that any horse going lame would become a big issue, so after covering so much distance on the first day and the fact that the final day would be the same, a decision was made to ride a shorter route from Dunnabridge Farm to Prison Farm. The ride was completed successfully and the horses were boxed up and returned to Knightsbridge. Although Holkham looked lame, it transpired he was just

very stiff and thankfully returned to normal riding a couple of days later. The exercise aims were satisfied and the war of G4 began. Penning was collapsed and the farm was returned to its normal state. The exercise gave the riders a new experience in unfamiliar terrain in arduous conditions. The amount of planning, driving and man hours that went into the event is disproportionate to the distance covered. However, if the horses were pushed to the full 25 miles per day we would have come back with six fewer available for the State Visit. All in all it was as fantastic opportunity and one that should be supported again.

Endurance Riding and Tent Pegging in the Rajasthan by Lance Corporal of Horse Harvey

I

n November this year, as part of an Army Tent Pegging team, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment tent pegging team travelled to India to compete at the Rajasthan Tent pegging completion. The trip was a culmination of the team’s successes at Addington, Royal Windsor Horse Show and the Open Day at Summer Camp. The Regiment’s team consisted of LCoH Raffel, Tprs Sayer and Eckley and myself. We met the other teams from the Royal Logistic Corps and The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery at the airport. I’ve often felt uneasy trying to get through security with 12 litres of Chanel de Blue, but here I was clutching a bag full of swords attempting to waltz through security. After the long flight we embarked on an eight hour coach drive to the fort. I thought Army cutbacks would mean we were in a Holiday Inn at best... but a fort? Over the long drive I pondered on the life of a maharaja or his

courtesan; however, I was continuously interrupted by the screech of breaks and the sounds of horns. I think I speak for the entirety of the group when I say I would much rather drive down Park Lane blindfold than drive in India. The first thing that hit us was the abundance of livestock that swarmed the streets and roads to the fort. For every car there must have been at least two cows, a goat and a one legged chicken. The coach sped through roads that a rally driver would call ‘bouncy’ until we came to the fort gates. And by golly was it a fort! It could have been taken straight out of the history books. Our bags were unloaded by some lovely gentlemen in orange turbans as we moved up to the long set of stairs at the front of the fort. At the top of the stairs stood our hosts, Bonnie and Francesca. Bonnie was an old school Indian military man; tall in stature with the biggest and bushiest moustache one has ever seen. He would certainly give Kipling’s a run for his money. (That’s the military one not the

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fella that makes the cakes). His beautiful partner Francesca dressed for the duration of the trip as if constantly safari in the 1800s; lots of waistcoats, tall boots, and flowing shirts. Needless to say I loved her style. The first event we were entered was the 40km race. Our horses where prepped and primed at the mass start of what must have been 40-60 horses. It certainly was an eclectic mix; stallions from the Indian army ridden by sikhs

CoH Harvey ponders a QLG by elephant

Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
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