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Red kite




Red kite

On this page - two stories

1. About Horses

2. A Playpark for Children


July 20th 1982. 15 horses were on their way along Knightsbridge to take part in the ceremony of the Changing of the Guard. Crossing Hyde Park, an IRA bomb, planted in a car, was detonated. Four soldiers died. All the horses were injured, seven so badly that they were put down at the spot.

The attack filled the news. One cavalry horse - Sefton - struck a particular chord with the public.

Although not all at the same time, Cavalry horses Sefton and Yeti and Metropolitan police horse Echo, were retired from their duties to The Horses Trust Home of Rest for Horses to live out the remainder of their days in the peace and tranquillity of the Chiltern Hills.

Born in Ireland and purchased by the army in 1967 for the Household Cavalry aged 4, this black gelding with a white blaze and four white socks was known for his bold and wilful character. He was not an easy ride. Soldiers did not learn on him, but to ride him was offered to the best pupils as a reward. He spent time in Germany with the army. He competed in the army show jumping team. At the age of 12, he was posted to London to work in the Household Cavalry.

Probably the most remembered of the surviving horses, Sefton was the worst injured. He had a severed jugular vein, a wounded eye, and 34 severe body wounds. It was a miracle of expert and prompt Veterinary attention which saved Sefton's life but he required further surgery and 3 weeks later was moved to the Veterinary Hospital of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps at the Defence Animal Centre, Melton Mowbray where more pieces were removed. Sefton's initial emergency operation lasted 90 minutes and he was given a 50/50 chance of recovery. In total he was to have 8 hours of surgery.
Donations of over £620 were sent, and a new surgical wing at the Royal Veterinary College was later named after him.
Sefton slowly recovered. Eventually he re-joined the regiment, still with his same trooper, Michael Pederson, who had also been injured.

A horse very much in demand by the public, one of his first appearances was at the Horse of the Year Show in October 1982 where he was joined by Echo which immediately brought the audience to a standing and emotional ovation. That year he was awarded "Horse of the Year".

Sefton's last ceremonial outing was at The Queen's Birthday Parade in June 1984 and he was then retired to The Horse Trust at the age of 21. Still quite headstrong at times, Sefton was at his happiest grazing in the fields amongst his horsey friends.

After enjoying his retirement Sefton passed away in 1993 and it was only fitting that he should be buried at the DAC at Melton. A statue of Sefton now stands at the Royal Veterinary College, his name is in the British Horse Society's equestrian Hall of Fame, with an annual award named after him.

Horse Trust Remembers Echo and Sefton

Echo was a stunning 16.1 h grey gelding and worked for the Metropolitan Police, he carried the marks of the infamous attack with a piece of shrapnel embedded in his side. Echo had made a good recovery from his wounds but was unable to continue with his duties as the explosion had made him nervous of traffic and crowds and was retired to The Horses Trust in 1983.

He was the most sweet natured and amiable of horses and contentedly lived at the sanctuary for 20 years until his death from recurring colic in December 2003 at the age of 33.

The last surviving horse at the charity was the 16hh gelding Yeti and he was known as the little horse that everyone forgot. He endeared himself to everyone and was the epitome of an old gentleman.

Shirley Abbott, previous Yard Manager at The Horse Trust recalls, "Yeti and Echo were inseparable and it was a joy to see such gentle animals enjoying the company of each other after such a horrific act of violence."
She continued, "With the care and expertise of our staff they were able to grow old together and live a long and peaceful life."

Source: an article that appeared in the Horses Trust newsletter in July 2016 and research by Joan West.


Different circumstances but again Cavalry Horses injured in London given respite care.

Five Military Working Horses of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment injured in London on 24th April 2024 and making world wide news, are continuing to make remarkable progress in their recovery.

The Life Guards soldiers and three of the horses injured in the incident are now back on duty and, against all expectations, are looking likely to take part in the King’s Birthday Parade on 15th June.

The remaining two Vida and Quaker are recuperating at The Horses Trust but look set to return to work in due course.





Elaine Dell - explained, when asked, that she had got fed-up with there being no playground where her children could play. Around 1985 she had approached the Parish Council, who told her that if she raised a petition they would consider it.

Petition Elaine canvassed around the village and, fully supported, she took her petition to the Council.

Council Support The Council replied that if £10,000 was raised towards a playground, they would donate £10,000 to match.

The Site Elaine knew the Sports Club Ground very well. She had married into the Dell family who were very involved with the club.

In the far North-East corner of the ground hung two simple swings. Surely this was a possible site.

The Sports Club was approached for a sub-lease. This part of the ground belonged to John West of Stocken Farm and he gave permission to the Sports Club to sub-lease a piece of ground to the Parish Council for a playground if the money could be raised.

Elapsed Time All this had taken a long time. Elaine's children had got older and Elaine had gone back to work. Fortunately another mum, Linda Gaffin, heard the story and picked up the cause.

Hallmark In the Autumn issue of Hallmark in 1993, the editor, Ted Janes, wrote:-

Children's Playground at Last ???
Hopes are running high that at long last the village will have a children's play area. As a community, as past parents, have we been a bit dilatory? Should we have been more like other villages? Speen for an example, who provided themselves by public subscription and fund raising, a playing field back in 1953, when land was cheap and not thought to be only required for housing.

Thousands and thousands of pounds have been raised over the years in our village, for the Church, for the Village Hall, for a private Sports Ground and Clubhouse, for the Windmill Restoration and to support all the organisations that flourish here, and yet we failed to provide a play area for our kids, maybe we got our priorities wrong. If that is to be rectified now, it's happily better late than never.

Hallmark In Spring 1994 Linda Gaffin wrote:-

Past Failure
As mentioned in a previous issue, the first request for a playground was raised about 40 years ago - plans were actually drawn up in 1960! Various people have campaigned over the years but we understand that land was never made available or the site was not suitable but for reasons we are not aware of, the playground never materialised.

Unnecessary Comments
Some people do not seem happy with the site proposed, especially as it is the far end of Lacey Green, but we can now be grateful that a piece of land is now available which will be an area close to the school and may encourage more use of the village sports facilities. No site would ever seem ideal to everyone and it will be a hard enough task to raise the money needed (a minimum of £10,000), without unnecessary negative comments. Let's not let this opportunity pass us by.

Welcome, Interest And Support

Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest and support in helping with the appeal.
  1. We have received a generous contribution from Princes Risborough Rotary Club of £250.
  2. The Windmill -Under-Fives Playgroup's are to have an Easter Fun Day, and plan to sponsor a toddler swing. Would anyone else consider sponsoring a piece of the playground?
  3. The Black Horse will organise a Race Night and at Jenny Stothard's house an Easter Treasure Hunt.
  4. The Sport's Club are having an Open Weekend - April 23rd/24th - when an exhibition of possible playground schemes will be on display - and an opportunity to make your comments known before any final decision is made!
  5. The Happy Wanderers Walking Club have promised to run a Family Village Walk on May 7th, and a 10 mile sponsored walk in September - can other organisations help us?
  6. A trip to see Gerry and the Pacemakers at Wycombe Swan - May 10th - Discount saved on all tickets sold (so far over 30) will go to the appeal.
So you see it's all happening - and all future events will be advertised in the Village and in Hallmark.
Hallmark In Summer 1994 Linda wrote
Well done - we are nearing our first £1,000, with many thanks to the following:-
  1. £250 donation from Rotary
  2. £100 Windmill under Fives
  3. £100 Donation
  4. £125 Black Horse Race Night
  5. £ 36 Jenny's Easter Bunny Raffle at the Whip
  6. £ 80 Playground Theatre Group
  7. £ 27 Village Shop donations
  8. £ 68 Donations from the Open Day
  9. £ 80 Happy Wanderers Piped Pipers Family Walk
  10. £ 20 donation from the 81st Club
We have had some fun at the Race Night, and luckily it didn't rain for the family walk and a good time and super afternoon tea was enjoyed by all the families that joined in the walk.
  1. Watch out for our sponsored walk in September.
  2. A pyramid coffee morning has been started by Jenny Stothard with a possibility of raising over £1,500 so wait for your invitation to arrive.
  3. We are running a Grand Draw with some really generous prizes - and if you haven't had your tickets they are available at the village r from Jane Trew - Smith Tel 347033.
  4. Also events to look out for - The Sports and Social Club Cricket Match and Pig Roast where British School of Motoring are running real cars for children of any age to have a go at driving - proceeds to our appeal thanks to Mrs Joan West.
  5. Lacey Green Productions special matinee on Sunday July 3rd where we will be providing afternoon teas in the interval - a show not to be missed by all accounts.
In the next magazine we will be updating everyone as to events planned for the next six months. Thanks to everyone for their help and support.
Also in that same Hallmark from Jenny Stothard
Still with the Playground Appeal, a CHALLENGE TO THE DADS OF THE VILLAGE - The grand Sponsored Nappy Change. Can you change all your baby's/toddlers nappies for two consecutive days? Forms are available from Hickman's Stores. You can choose any two days between the 15th and 29th July. Remember - a change is as good as a rest!
Hallmark Autumn by Linda Gaffin
We now have another £3,500 (making £7,000) thanks to a very splendid contribution of £1,000 from Lacey Green Productions. Our thanks to them and also the Evening W.I. who had a raffle at their Bar-B-Que. We now aim to have a playground installed by Village Day 1995.

A few more events are planned and we hope we can ask for everyone's continued support over the next few months.

Saturday, October 22nd - CHILDREN'S DISCO - in the Village Hall. Some fun for the children - watch for further details.

Saturday, November 19th - AUCTION OF PROMISES - in the Village Hall - 7.30 for 8.00 pm. Looking for some ideas for Christmas presents - maybe this could help : -
  1. Perfume Selection - Bell Street Chemist.
  2. 6lb Leg of Pork - Trouts Butchers.
  3. Wheel Brace - Alternative Tools.
  4. 10,000 sheets Plain White Conqueror Wove Paper - Chiltern Stationery.
  5. Discount on House Sale - Halifax Estate Agents.
  6. Sunday Lunch - Plow at Speen, to include pick-up in Chauffeur Driven Rolls Royce - Sapphire Chauffeur Drive
  7. Tickets to Chessington World of Adventures.
  8. Joints of beef - value £15 - Morris Butchers, Princes Risborough
  9. Various Cuddly Toys
  10. A years supply of Coffee
  11. Johnson & Johnson Baby Products - Cilag, Saunderton
  12. RAF Visits - to be advised - Tom Hamilton
  13. Two Pantomime Tickets - Wycombe Swan.
  14. Hair Appointment - Waves
  15. Various Beauty Treatments.
  16. Visit to the Bucks Free Press
  17. Visit to the Bucks Herald
  18. Dried Flower Basket - Sylvia James
  19. Round of Golf at Princes Risborough Golf Club - Vic Gaffin
  20. Sailing Trip on Group 4 'Round the World' Yacht - Rob Coles
  21. Clay Shoot - Waterperry Gun Club
  22. Manchester united Souvenir
  23. Signed Football - Wycombe Wanderers
  24. Weekend at a Hilton Hotel
  25. Meal at The Whip
  26. Meal at The Black Horse
  27. Meal at The Sir Charles Napier
  28. Bike Helmet - Mountain Bike Centre
  29. Painting Commission - Jane Clayton
  30. Garden Seat - Gommes Forge
  31. Cuddly Toy - Cheverton & Laidler
  32. Mystery Box
  33. And Much Much More.
If you are willing to promise something to auction - babysitting, ironing, cakes, anything unusual - no matter how large or small please give us a ring; Linda (347707), June (347033) or Sandra (346315).

Dave Evans is our Auctioneer and we hope it will be a fun evening.

The Playground Committee would like to thank everyone for their continuing help and support. Just a few more months and we hope to see the results of everyone's efforts. If you would like to help in any way please let us know.
Hallmark Spring 1995 by Linda Gaffin.
"WELL WE HAVE DONE IT !! £10,000"

Thanks to the inspiration and help of Dick and Brenda at the Whip and the hospitality of Mr and Mrs Davis and the time given by Mum's and Dad's to help raise : -
  1. £800 at Widmer Feeds Open Day
  2. and to every one who supported in some way the Auction of Promises which raised £3,200!
  3. We have also successfully applied for a grant from Bucks County Council of £2,500.
All this could not have been done without the help of so many people but especially June and Gary True-Smith, Sandra and David Moulder, Lindsay and Alan Phillips, Rob Coles and Sheila Smith, Martin and Gina Timberlake, Mark Van Reysen, Phil Gunnell and my husband Vic who have all given of their time and talents so freely. We have had a lot of fun on the way. A meeting has now been arranged with the Parish Council to plan the playground - more news in 1995.
Hallmark Summer 1995 by Linda Gaffin.

We made it!! Thanks to the help of many people - although the 'official opening' fell slightly flat being at the end of the Village Day parade. The best and most important thing as far as June, Sandra and myself were concerned was to see the swarms of children all over the new playground enjoying themselves. What a sight! We have not had a major opening, as the Summer holidays came in between and now the Autumn is upon us. The playground seems to have been a success, with many people coming along for picnics in the summer holidays and using it after school. Also life at the cricket matches has apparently been made easier with the children being occupied on the playground.

Interest has also been shown in developing the facilities at the Sports Club. Tennis coaching has been running all summer long and the playground has given younger brothers and sisters somewhere to play.

This is in such a lovely setting - we are fortunate to have such good facilities in our village. Seating is on its way - hopefully not to be destroyed, as has the picnic table. The council is still getting the rubbish bin! Let's hope that the playground will be respected by everyone and that vandalism does not take away the enjoyment of so many.

We have been allotted some funds from the Village Day committee so we will hopefully be able to look at some more equipment.

Once again thanks to all those involved and a job well done!!