There is never a quiet year at the Household Cavalry, but 2011 catapulted their Mounted Regiment (HCMR) into a new stratosphere of recognition. The footage of the Royal Wedding, beamed across the globe, endeared the cavalry blacks and their brave riders to a new audience, and their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/HCMR) has more than 5,000 fans.

However, it’s business as usual at Hyde Park Barracks. A kit ride pass-off last week saw the inspection and salute taken by former officer Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, and preparation continues for royal escorts and state visits, as well as Friday’s fundraising ball for The Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund.

So it is with pride that those of us lucky enough to exercise the HCMR’s magnificent horses fulfil our duties in Hyde Park. We are currently savouring the crisp autumn rides as the perfect antidote to the rest of city life, but these early morning excursions keep us riders on our toes. War horses they may be, but as the colourful bibs of the British Military Fitness enthusiasts burst out of the trees by the Serpentine, waving their arms, one can forgive a younger horse for looking askance, as this particular mouse clings on by a whisker.

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