The Household Cavalry searches for the best of the best

After a month of working round the clock to produce sparkling ceremonial uniforms troopers of the Household Cavalry mounted their immaculate horses to compete in the famous Richmond Cup.

The competition serves to find the best turned out soldier and horse - from a field of the most highly polished Service personnel on the planet. 

Twelve Troopers of the Life Guards and The Blues and Royals were put under the microscope by a ruthless inspection party, including The Brigade Major, Lieutenant Colonel Guy Stone and The Army Sergeant Major, Warrant Class One Gavin Paton, at Hyde Park Barracks. 

For weeks prior to forming up for the rigorous test the Service personal toiled for continuous hours to ensure that every minute detail of their uniform and kit was to the highest possible standard. Their equine companions received the same treatment. 

While the annual competition is for the chosen few, every single soldier in the regiment is part of the process. The arduous task requires extreme commitment and discipline as well as teamwork and respect for fellow soldiers. 

Ahead of the event, now formally known as the Princess Elizabeth Cup but still referred to as The Richmond Cup, every available piece of leather is waxed and shined to a mirror finish, while the horses are washed, groomed and cleaned with the same exacting detail.