A horse which has been cared for by the charity World Horse Welfare has gone to a new home and the possibility of a new career with the Household Cavalry.
Digger is the biggest horse the charity has looked after. He stands at an impressive 19 hands and weighs almost a tonne, making him a perfect candidate as a drum horse for the Household Cavalry's Mounted Regiment.
Eileen Gillen, manager of the charity's farm in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire has been caring for Digger since he arrived at the centre in 2008.
She said: "When Digger first arrived I was shocked as I had never seen a horse so big.
"His enormous size and the fact that he was still growing were causing problems with the joints in his hind legs.
"It took surgery at the Royal (Dick) Veterinary Hospital in Edinburgh and many months of rehabilitation before he was well enough to start work."
Digger will be based at the regiment's Knightsbridge barracks where he will begin a two-year training programme to see if he has what it takes to be a drum horse. If successful he will lead the Household Cavalry band on all ceremonial and state occasions carrying a rider and two solid silver drums.
"We will certainly miss having him around," said Eileen.
THE British Open Showjumping Championships get underway today at the NEC in Birmingham.
The pressure will be on Huddersfield's Robert Whitaker who will be defending his title as last year's British Open Show Jumping Champion and aiming for a record-breaking third win.
As well as the excitement of watching top class show jumpers in action from this country and abroad there will also be a chance to see some of our leading event riders competing.
Tomorrow evening's Indoor Cross Country Championships should provide some thrills with Oliver Townend and Pippa Funnell among those who have entered.
Keep an eye open, too, for Gary Parsonage from Beverley, Rossendale's Ben Hobday and Northallerton's Nicola Wilson who will also be competing.
THE Northern Dartmoor lunch will take place on Sunday at Nicola and Philip Tyler's Springwater Stud, Pickhill, near Thirsk.
This is a fundraising event for the Northern Dartmoor Show to be held at Osbaldeston on June 20. Tickets are available at 8 from Tracey Whittle on 01995 640341.
The BSPS Area 3A, under the chairmanship of Pat Dorman, will be hosting the North and East Yorkshire County Show at Richmond Equestrian Centre on Saturday. There will be plenty of Royal International qualifiers for ridden flat classes including show ponies, show hunter and intermediate plus Premier League Qualifiers.
At the same venue on June 3 the area will be hosting direct Horse of the Year qualifiers for mountain and moorland working hunters as well as international qualifiers in open working hunters, coloured and heritage flat classes. For details call 01653 692154.
National Shire Horse Show: One of the top awards, Senior Female Champion, went to Providence Lady Jasmin, owned by Frank Pickles from Keighley.
Other Yorkshire results included: Gelding - 4 Years & Over: 2, P Bedford - Shordley Earl; 10, Mr & Mrs B Lowre - Upperfoot Sir Selwyn. Gelding - 3 Years Old: 8, Miss L Charlton - Fellview Bertie Wooster. Colt - 1 Year Old: 1, P & K Harper - Bradforth Joshua; 2, P Bedford - Deighton Longhshanks; 5, R Bedford - Acle Sweet William; 7, PM Clayton - Westfield Executor. Stallion - 3 Years Old: 2, P Bedford - Wheathead Centurion; 8, JR Richardson - Toc Hill Edward John. Stallion - 4 Years Old: 4, PM Clayton - Sladbrook Benefactor. Stallion - 5 Years & Over: 1, R Bedford - Boothay Richard; 2, P Bedford - Penrhos Braveheart; 3, Wm Bedford - Brownroyd Dark Shadow; 10, Red Brae Mascot. Reserve stallion champion: Boothay Richard. Ridden Shire (Pure Bred): 3, Mrs D Eastwood - Fellview Brazilia. Ridden Shire (Half Bred): 3, Mrs L Binns - Dee Cee. Ridden Dressage Test: 4, Mrs D Eastwood - Fellview Brazilia. Fillies - 1 Year Old: 2, P Bedford - Rushall Lady Hannah; 10, CA Wilkins - Oaklodge Maisie; 11, JG Durrans - Phoenix Gemma; 12, AJ Gribbin - Leaventhorpe Daybreak. Filly - 2 Years Old: 1, P Bedford - Bodafon Sophie; 2, AJ Gribbin - Leaventhorpe My Girl; 6, PM Clayton - Sladbrook Miss Jones; 7, CA Wilkins - Oaklodge Emerald. Filly - 3 Years Old: 1, FWO Richardson & Sons - Bewholme Moonlight Sensation; 2, PM Clayton - Sladbrook Lucky Choice; 4, P Bedford - Phoenix Ellie. Mare - 4 Years & Over: 1, Mr & Mrs F Pickles - Providence Lady Jasmine; 2, AJ Gribbin - Cairnsmore Star of Faith; 3, R Bedford - Skelton Phoebe. Junior Female Champion: Bodafon Sophie; Reserve Female Champion - Bewholme Moonlight Sensation. Senior Female Champion, Shire Horse Society Silver Spoon & Shire Horse of the Year Qualifier: Providence Lady Jasmine. Reserve Senior Female Champion: Bodafon Sophie. George Roberts Champion Points Memorial Cup: P Bedford.