Monday, 11 December 2017

A Truly Great Horse - Sefton

Sefton was a truly great horse,  surviving a car nail bomb that killed 4 soldiers and 7 other horses from the Household Cavalry on 20th July 1982 in Hyde Park.

He was born in Ireland in 1963, his sire a Thoroughbred and his dam Irish Draught.  He was bought by the Household Cavalry in 1967. An impressive 16hh black gelding with a beautiful white blaze and 4 socks.  Sefton could be quite headstrong and was known to bite, nap and fidget!  

The IRA bomb left him with 38 penetrating wounds to his body, a damaged eye and a severed main artery in his neck.  Thanks to the speedy veterinary attention he survived  but had to have further surgery to remove the metal.

Sefton was named Horse of the Year in 1982 and really captured the public's imagination.  Donations for him funded an Equine Hospital at the Royal Veterinary College campus .  He returned to his regimental duties after 3 months until he was retired in 1984 at The Queen's Birthday Parade in June.  He moved to The Horses Trust where he eventually passed away in 1993. 

Sefton was 1 of 15 horses from his regiment on duty that day and all were injured, although Sefton the worst of his surviving stable mates.  The other seriously injured horses were all shot to prevent their suffering .  Echo, a grey police horse was hit by shrapnel and became too fearful of traffic to return to his duties.  Yeti another black horse suffered nerve damage and was also unable to return to his duties.  

There is now a bronze statue of Sefton at the Royal Veterinary College. 

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Until next time!

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