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The Queen

The Queen officially names the army’s most senior animal, a horse with the rank of Major

The Queen has a known passion for all things horses. From races at Royal Ascot to equestrianism, Her Majesty is always at her happiest when she is surrounded by the majestic creatures.

Therefore, it is no surprise that the 91-year-old Monarch was thrilled on Tuesday morning when she and Prince Charles visited The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment at Hyde Park Barracks, where she named a new drummer horse.

The horse, who is now the most senior animal in the British Army with the rank of Major, was officially named Perseus by Her Majesty.

Major Perseus is a nine-year-old 17.1hh Shire and has been in training for the role of drummer horse since joining the army in February 2013.

An army spokesman said: “Training as a drum horse is a specialist art and takes patience, care and time. He is conditioned to walk only, while on parade, and taught to react to foot reins using a long reining method to start with.

“Then the riding staff systematically introduce the regalia — his magnificent and elaborate head collar, bridle and accoutrements — to a point where he is quiet and confident in all of it.

“At each stage, the staff also introduce every change and addition in as many different conditions and environments as they can, so that eventually Big Red finds everything, even the tumult of central London, second nature.”

Once Major Perseus has gained some experience as an understudy, he will progress to taking part in parades including Trooping the Colour.

After naming the new drummer horse, The Queen and Prince Charles proceeded to the stables where they met other members of the regiment, both human and animal.

Inside, the royals were shown how a rider’s kit is maintained and met members of the Troopers of the Life Guards & The Blues and Royals with their horses.