Credit: The Horse Trust

The Horse Trust has paid tribute to beloved equine resident, Burniston (Burnie), who has passed away at the age of 29.

Burnie was a part-bred Irish Draught, standing at 16.2hh, who served in the Defence Animal Training Regiment and the Household Division.

During her 18 years of service the bright bay mare took part in all ceremonial duties, including the state opening of parliament and state visits from foreign dignitaries.

“Because of her beauty, grace and calm temperament Burniston was chosen as the centre horse at Trooping the Colour,” said a Horse Trust spokesman.

Credit: The Household Division

“This lovely lady was said to be the Infantry Officers best friend and due to her kind nature, she would help her new riders enormously if it was their first parade; she knew all the commands like the back of her hoof and instantly knew when to move and when to stand still.

“Burnie retired to The Horse Trust in 2014 after a long and distinguished career serving the country and as soon as she came off the lorry, we knew she would fit right in. She captured our hearts from day one and was an absolute pleasure to care for due to her soft and affectionate nature.

“She was very easy going, calm and patient and would politely stand waiting for the farrier or vet even if there was chaos happening around her. She formed a really strong bond with Tryfan a 17.2hh working shire horse that we sadly lost in 2019.”

Credit: The Household Division

Burnie’s peaceful retirement with the Horse Trust was interrupted when she suffered a nasty injury.

“We had to rush her to the Royal Veterinary College to check a wound on her leg and it was discovered that she unfortunately had two splint bone fractures to her hind leg,” said the spokesman.

“She was very lucky that The Horse Trust team acted so quickly on finding this wound and rushed her off for treatment. She had to spend a good few months on box rest and in that time became a firm favourite on the yard. She turned into a really soppy girl who adored attention and cuddles.”

Since retiring Burnie suffered from a few ongoing health issues, including equine asthma and fetlock arthritis. Nicky the charity’s vet had been monitoring and treating her lameness in the field as due to her severe asthma box rest became increasingly difficult to manage.

Unfortunately, Burniston’s condition kept deteriorating and Nicky was no longer able to manage the pain and asthma and it was very unlikely that either condition would improve significantly enough to ensure she had a good quality of life.

“This meant that we knew it was time and we prepared ourselves to say our final goodbyes to this gentle lady,” added the spokesman.

“Burnie you were truly one of a kind and it has been our complete honour to serve you after all your years of service to us. Kind, gentle and loving you gave us so many treasured memories that we will never forget.”