Family Friendly Open Day

**** Get your tickets for the day here! ****

A rare opportunity to go deep behind the front lines of the Household Cavalry in the very building we protect- Horse Guards, official entrance to Buckingham Palace. Meet the Queen’s bodyguard, go toe-to-hoof with their famous horses, dress up like the soldiers, and see if you’ve got what it takes to protect the Monarch.

Meet&Greet with the Queen’s Cavalry, uniform dress up, quizzes, trails & family challenges throughout the day as well as:
10.00am: Front doors open
10.30am: Talk: The Queen’s Cavalry – how to go from zero to hero
11.00am: Mounted Guard Change   on  Horse Guards Parade
11.30am: Fun for foals:  Messy Play and Arts&Crafts in the Stables Gallery
11.45am: Tour: Heads, hooves & horror stories – a horse-hair-raising history of the Household Cavalry (family friendly)*
12.15pm: Stable Yard   visit: meet a Cavalry Black horse*
1:15pm: Stable Yard demonstration: Cavalry Farrier display*
1.30pm: Fun for foals:  Messy Play  and  Arts&Crafts in the  Stables Gallery
2.15pm:  Stable Yard  visit: meet a Cavalry Black horse*
3.15pm: Talk: Obeying Queen Victoria – preparing for a 125 year old punishment
4.00pm: Garrison Inspection in the  Front Yard, Whitehall
5.00pm: Last entry to Museum
6.00pm: Museum closes

**** Get your tickets for the day here! ****

 

Housekeeping:

  1. 1. All activities are included in  your day’s Museum ticket which is valid for all day entry: advanced booking is recommended- please   buy your tickets here.
    2. Activities marked with a * will require visitors to sign up on arrival on the day; priority will be given on a first-come-first-served basis.
    3. There is one fully accessible washroom and a shop on site, but no catering facilities; we recommend you combine your day at the Museum with a visit to St James’s Park which offers picnic areas, a cafe and washroom facilities.
  2. For any further queries please contact: museum@householdcavalry.co.uk or call 020 7930 3070.

Half Term Arts&Crafts – Wednesday

Join us this half term as we enjoy arts and crafts activities in our Stables Gallery.
Be inspired by the sights, sounds and smells (!) around you- draw horses, troopers, design uniforms and challenge yourself with our trails and quizzes.

 

Wednesday 29 May:
Self guided trails and uniform dressing up available all day
10am See the horses being prepared for Guard Change
10.30am-12noon Arts and Crafts activities, Stables Gallery
11am Guard Change
2pm-3.30pm Arts and Crafts activities, Stables Gallery
4pm Garrison Inspection

Half Term – Tuesday – Arts&Crafts – Soldier Q&A

Join us this half term as we enjoy arts and crafts activities in our Stables Gallery.
Be inspired by the sights, sounds and smells (!) around you- draw horses, troopers, design uniforms and challenge yourself with our trails and quizzes.

 

Tuesday 28 May:
Self guided trails and uniform dressing up available all day
10am See the horses being prepared for Guard Change
10.30am-12noon Arts and Crafts activities, Stables Gallery
11am Guard Change
2pm-3.30pm Arts and Crafts activities, Stables Gallery
3.30pm Serving Soldier Q&A, Stables Gallery
4pm Garrison Inspection

 

Half Term activities (full week information)

Half Term Arts&Crafts
Join us this half term as we enjoy arts and crafts activities in our Stables Gallery.
Be inspired by the sights, sounds and smells (!) around you- draw horses, troopers, design uniforms and challenge yourself with our trails and quizzes.

PLUS: Meet a serving soldier and ask him ANYTHING on Tuesday at 3.30pm
THEN: head outside and watch the 4pm Garrison Inspection
DON’T FORGET: Mounted Guard Change daily at 11am (excluding Monday 27 May)

Full week information:
Monday 27 May:
Self guided trails and uniform dressing up available all day
(no 11am Guard Change)
4pm Garrison Inspection
4.15pm

Tuesday 28 May:
Self guided trails and uniform dressing up available all day
10am See the horses being prepared for Guard Change
10.30am-12noon Arts and Crafts activities, Stables Gallery
11am Guard Change
2pm-3.30pm Arts and Crafts activities, Stables Gallery
3.30pm Serving Soldier Q&A, Stables Gallery
4pm Garrison Inspection

Wednesday 29 May:
Self guided trails and uniform dressing up available all day
10am See the horses being prepared for Guard Change
10.30am-12noon Arts and Crafts activities, Stables Gallery
11am Guard Change
2pm-3.30pm Arts and Crafts activities, Stables Gallery
4pm Garrison Inspection

Thursday 30 May:
Self guided trails and uniform dressing up available all day
10am See the horses being prepared for Guard Change
11am Guard Change
4pm Garrison Inspection

Friday 31 May:
Self guided trails and uniform dressing up available all day
10am See the horses being prepared for Guard Change
11am Guard Change
4pm Garrison Inspection

Horse Guards from around the world

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/horse-guards-from-around-the-world-tickets-51140046255

Description:
Join us for another exciting Museum ‘late’ (drinks and all) as we take a fascinating look at Mounted Bodyguards from around the world- from our own Household Cavalry to France, Sweden and Denmark in Europe and on to the Indian sub-continent. With a special talk from the liaison officer between The Light Cavalry HAC and the Presidential Bodyguard Indian Army.

Timings:
18:00hrs: Doors open, drinks on arrival
18:30hrs: History of the Household Cavalry and an overview of the French, Swedish and Dutch mounted bodyguards from Alice Pearson
18:45hrs: Talk on the Presidential Bodyguard Indian Army from special guest speaker Steve Lake
19:00hrs: Optional tours and access to the permanent collection
19:45hrs: Last orders
20:00hrs: Event ends

Speakers:
Steven Lake: ex-Household Cavalryman, current liaison officer between The Light Cavalry HAC and the Presidential Bodyguard Indian Army
Alice Pearson: Director of the Household Cavalry Museum

Guest speaker biography: Commissioned in the regular Army in 1990,   Steven Lake  started what was to become a marvellous early career full of life time experiences and worldwide excursions. Highlights included passing The Royal Marine Commando Course and being awarded an MBE when a Lieutenant.  Now working at Burberry Ltd. Steve finds time once again for his greatest and life time passion for all things equestrian. A keen polo player and a member of The Light Cavalry Mounted Troop, HAC, Steve has more recently volunteered to be the liaison officer with The Indian Presidential Body Guard and The Light Cavalry.

A True Cavalry Horse

On this day, 29th August 1984, one of the most famous horses of the Household Cavalry Regiment, Sefton, retired from the Household Cavalry Regiment. Sefton had gained fame for his miraculous survival from injuries sustained in a bomb blast in July 1982 that had killed four members of the Blues and Royals, as well as seven other horses of the regiment.

Sefton was being ridden to the Changing of the Guard on Horse Guards Parade on July 20th 1982 when the IRA detonated a car bomb in Hyde Park that claimed the lives of four men and seven horses. Sefton was one of eight horses left injured by the blast, but his injuries were the most severe, including a severed jugular vein, wounded left eye, and 34 wounds over his body. Sefton was the first horse to be removed from the scene and brought back to barracks, where he was treated in an emergency operation lasting over 90 minutes to save his life, and then an additional 8 hours of surgery (a record in veterinary terms in 1982); each of the injuries he’d sustained had the potential to be life threatening. He was given a 50/50 per cent chance of survival.

Sefton recovering from the injuries he sustained on July 20th 1982

Over the following months, he made continual progress; his nurse was quoted as saying “He took everything in his stride”. During his time in the hospital he received huge quantities of cards and mints from well-wishers, while donations exceeding £620,000 were received to construct a new surgical wing at the Royal Veterinary College which was named the Sefton Surgical Wing.

Sefton returned to his duties with his regiment, and he often passed the exact spot where he had received such horrific injuries. That year he was awarded Horse of the Year, and with Pederson back in the saddle took centre stage at the Horse of the Year Show, to a standing ovation. On 29 August 1984 Sefton retired from the Household Cavalry, and moved to the Home of Rest For Horses at Speen, Buckinghamshire where he lived to the age of 30 before having to be put down on 9 July 1993 due to incurable lameness as a complication of the injuries suffered during the bombing.

Even before he become a public name, Sefton had something of a notoriety amongst troopers; he was nicknamed “Sharkey” for his tendency to bite at troopers and horses he didn’t like. Despite ‘passing out’ in June 1968 (marked with the regimental number 5/816) also had something of a reputation for being something of a difficult horse, as he had a tendency for breaking ranks, fidgeting and napping. For these reasons, Sefton was sent with the Blues and Royals on deployment to Germany. He joined the Weser Vale Hunt, a bloodhound pack set up by Captain Bill Stringer, chasing volunteer runners. He quickly became the whipper-in’s mount, and excelled in this task, with a bold jump and fast pace. This made him a very popular horse, and due to his nature, he was not given to recruits to learn on, but offered as a prize for the best recruits to ride.

Sefton showing how he got his nickname of “Sharkey” amongst the troopers…

Sefton also competed in showjumping, and whilst on deployment between 1969 and 1974 won 1434 Deutschmarks of prize money, and made the army team competing for the British Army of the Rhine, as well as competing in and winning a point to point race.

In 1975, there was an outbreak of strangles at Knightsbridge Barracks, leaving a shortage of large black horses for ceremonial duties in London. At this time, Sefton had a suspect tendon, possibly due to being overridden, and was immediately chosen to return to England. Here, he worked for the Household Cavalry for the next four years, performing his guard duties, as well as appearing in Quadrilles, and tent pegging. He continued to showjump, including appearances at the Royal Tournament and other smaller shows, although from 1980 he was gradually retired from the sport as he reached the age of 18.

Sefton with Trooper Michael Pedersen of the Blues and Royals, who rode him on July 20th 1982