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Wales Online
Wales Online
Laura Clements

Welsh shire horse weighing 800kg led the King Charles coronation procession through London

A shire horse who cost just £500 when he was a yearling playee a key part during the coronation procession of King Charles III. Ed - now known as Major Apollo - is a ceremonial drum horse from the Dyfed Shire Horse farm in Eglwyswrw, Pembrokeshire.

The farm has a "loyal association" with The Household Cavalry and The Band of The Household Cavalry. Ed was the second horse to head to London from Pembrokeshire in December 2019 following in the hoofprints of Celt, who became a drum horse in 2008. A third shire horse from the farm, Willa Rose, has also been bought by the Household Cavalry and is being trained as a drum horse.

Read more: Royal superfans camp out on The Mall for days before the coronation

Ed made his debut at Trooping the Colour at the Platinum Jubilee Trooping in June 2022. His Coronation role involves leading 200 other horses on the procession route on the streets of London, carrying the ceremonial kettle drum.

Major Apollo with the Household Cavalry Mounted Band on the Mall during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 06, 2023 in London, England (Getty Images)
The procession leading the Diamond Jubilee State Coach. Two shire horses, including Major Apollo, bearing a rider and kettle drums lead the band of the Household Cavalry along the Mall (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)
A member of The Household Cavalry Mounted Band can be seen on the Mall during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 06, 2023 (Getty Images)

Major Apollo stands at more than 17 hands (1.73m or 5ft 6in), weighs nearly 800kg (125 stone) and has been trained to carry a musician and drums during ceremonial events.

His first encounter with royalty was back in July 2018 when Camilla, the Queen Consort, visited the farm along with the King, who was then Prince of Wales. She took the reins as Ed pulled her around the farm on a carriage ride.

Camilla, the Queen Consort, and Ed (now Major Apollo) during a visit to Dyfed Shire Horse Farm in July 2018 (Dyfed Shire Horse Farm)
Ed the horse before he left for London (Dyfed Shire Horse Farm)
(Piroschka van de Wouw/PA Wire)
Major Apollo - Ed - the shire horse (Dyfed Shire Horse Farm)


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