In a rare sight in London, the Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry with their magnificent Drum Horse Perseus accompanied the Queen’s Life Guard on their ride through Wellington Arch and down The Mall to their duties at Horse Guards.
The appearance of the Band is a treat for tourists but essential riding training for musicians and horses as they prepare for a busy summer of mounted state ceremonial. It provided an essential opportunity for some of the regiment’s newest horses and newly qualified riders amongst the musicians to become acclimatised to riding in crowds and traffic in the heart of London.
All members of the band are members of the Corps of Army Music but must also complete the arduous 16-week Household Cavalry equitation course (‘Riding School’). In their mounted role during the Summer months, they will spend almost as much time caring for their riding kit and horses as they do rehearsing their music, which makes for a very rich and varied career. Musicians form firm bonds with their horses and the role is highly coveted by other Army musicians. Two of the musicians riding today passed out of Kit Ride just 2 weeks ago and were today riding within the band for the first time. As well as the Trooping the Colour parades in May and June, the Household Cavalry Mounted Band will be performing on this year’s Household Division Beating Retreat on June 5th and 6th – a spectacular musical event on Horse Guards Parade which features
all the Bands of the Household Division, equestrian displays, fireworks, inspirational stories and of course splendid music.