The dedicated team at The Horse Trust have nominated gentle giant Oscar, who sadly died earlier this month, to our hall of fame. Oscar arrived at The Horse Trust in December 2019 after an impressive 13 years’ service as an officer’s charger for the Household Division.
Oscar, a striking 17.2hh Irish Sport Horse, was described as outstanding throughout his working career, carried out all his duties to the highest of standards, and was responsible for looking after Senior Household Division Officers on State Ceremonial Parades and Occasions as their charger. Due to his striking good looks and reliable temperament Oscar was often chosen to be the centre horse on HM The Queen’s Birthday Parade (of which he attended a whopping 14!), carrying the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting. He was also selected as the charger for the Brigade Major, with one of his most notable roles being the chosen charger of Lieutenant General Sir George Pemberton Ross Norton KCVO CBE, when he commanded the Household Division. During his long and illustrious career, Oscar also had the honour of taking part in the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Nicola Housby-Skeggs, ex-Household Cavalry vet and current Veterinary Director at The Horse Trust has incredibly fond memories of Oscar from her time treating him in the military. ‘He was always very reliable and really looked after his rider. He was steady on parade and an incredibly intelligent horse…if you forgot where you were going, Oscar would remember!’
Due to his calm temperament he worked steadily well into his twenties helping to bring on younger horses, until his retirement at the age of 25 due to suffering with arthritis. Oscar to retirement at The Horse Trust like a duck to water! He enjoyed regular trips to the clinic, where he was always a very well behaved patient for Nicky to treat! He unfortunately had a problem with his heart soon after his arrival, and in the spring this year the team thought the worst would happen and they were going to lose him. However Oscar was a fighter and he really rallied around and made a remarkable recovery meaning he could have a lovely summer back out in the fields with his friends.
Due to his ongoing battle with arthritis Oscar had recently begun to really struggle with the harder ground – although inside he was full of beans and felt like Tigger, his legs weren’t always able to keep up with his mind! He became very stiff and wasn’t always able to get his legs where they needed to be, which in a horse of his size was a big concern for Nicky, as he could no longer be kept comfortable. It was at this point that the incredibly difficult decision had to be made to let him go. Throughout his life Oscar absolutely loved attention and human company, so the team made sure that his final day was spent being thoroughly spoilt, groomed and pampered on the luscious grass in the middle of the yard which he absolutely adored. He was an absolute gentlemen with a heart of pure gold, being both kind and loving.