A 12-year-old mare who served in the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery for nine years has been put to sleep following a severe bout of recurring laminitis.

Esmerelda (‘Bumble Bee’) arrived at The Horse Trust to begin her retirement in October.

A statement from The Horse Trust said that Bumble Bee suffered from frequent reoccurring bouts of severe laminitis which was known to the charity when she retired. It became apparent after a few months that these flare ups were becoming more regular and severe, and it was increasingly difficult to manage the mare’s pain.

“Sadly her laminitis flared up again and she was very uncomfortable. We knew that she had previously struggled to recover and when we saw her deteriorating despite treatment it was felt that her chances of recovering again were very small and it was kinder to let her go,” said Nicky, The Horse Trust’s vet.

As well as serving in the King’s Troop, Bumble Bee was a film star

Bumble Bee was a 15.2hh Welsh section D. Her Artillery duties included many high profile events, including The Queen’s birthday parades, royal salutes in Hyde Park and the musical drive at Royal Windsor and Royal Welsh Horse Shows.

Bumble Bee also appeared in the 2019 film Downton Abbey. She was also a superb jumper and enjoyed competing, especially cross-country.

“She was a little powerhouse of a horse and served as a leader of the B Sub-Section’s gun team,” said The Horse Trust’s statement. “The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery is Her Majesty The Queen’s mounted ceremonial saluting battery. Bumble Bee performed numerous ceremonial duties over the years at all kinds of state occasions, including royal births, birthdays and anniversaries, parliamentary openings, state visits and state funerals.”

The statement added that due to previous sinus surgery, Bumble Bee could often be heard whistling before she was seen.

“This came in handy when checking the fields on dark winter mornings as we always knew where she was,” it said. “She was a really gentle, kind and loving girl who will be sorely missed by everyone.

“Her time at The Horse Trust was short but sweet. We are proud to have given her six months of the care and devotion that she so deserved, but we wished we had her with us for longer. She was a stunning, gentle and kind girl who we will never forget.”

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