Wales

Welsh mountain pony Trooper Jones promoted by Welsh Cavalry

Farrier Major L/Cpl Mark Holland and Welsh mountain pony L/Cpl Jones Image copyright Cpl Tom Evans

A Welsh mountain pony has been promoted by the Welsh Cavalry.

Trooper Emrys Forlan Jones became the first regimental mascot of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (QDG) in 2016.

The six-year-old was promoted to L/Cpl in at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells, Powys, by Brigadier Alan Richmond, head of the Army in Wales and also regimental colonel of the QDG.

"He thoroughly deserves it," said farrier major, L/Cpl Mark Holland. "He's amazing."

He added he "hadn't put a hoof wrong" since making his first public appearance for the regiment at the state opening of the Welsh assembly in 2016.

L/Cpl Jones comes from a distinguished line of Welsh ponies. He was recruited from Betty French's Forlan Stud in Chippenham, Wiltshire, in February 2016.

Image copyright Cpl Tom Evans

The regiment said it chose a Welsh mountain pony to keep in touch with its Welsh heritage and the tradition of the Welsh Cavalry charging into battle on horseback.

British Army units adopting animals as military mascots is a practice dating back to the 18th Century when the Royal Welsh recruited a goat.

The tradition is believed to have started after a wild goat strayed on to the battlefield during the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, leading the Royal Welsh Fusiliers' colour party from the field.

Image copyright L/Cpl Mark Holland

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