Trooper Emrys Forlan Jones and his owner 230719 CREDIT ARMY.jpg

Taking The Reins: Pony Promotion For Regimental Mascot

Trooper Emrys Forlan Jones is now a Lance Corporal.

Trooper Emrys Forlan Jones and his owner 230719 CREDIT ARMY.jpg

The animal's lineage can be traced back more than 100 years (Picture: British Army).

Trooper Emrys Forlan Jones, a Welsh mountain pony, has been promoted to Lance Corporal of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards. 

The six-year-old pony was given due recognition for his service and was promoted in the Royal Welsh Show's Main Ring by Brigadier Alan Richmond OBE, head of the Army in Wales and also Regimental Colonel of the Queen's Dragoon Guards. 

Farrier Major, Lance Corporal Mark Holland said the pony is "amazing."

"He thoroughly deserves it," LCpl Holland said.

"It is a rare thing for promotion to take place away from the Regimental Headquarters and it is certainly something that has never happened at the Royal Welsh Show."

Lieutenant Colonel Justin Stenhouse, Commanding Officer of the Queen's Dragoon Guards, said Trooper Jones was being recognised for his "performance" on parade at numerous events across Wales and the UK.

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Trooper Jones is the new mascot of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (Picture: British Army). 

"His diary is full and he is often travelling across the country from our current headquarters in Norfolk to Wales."

Lance Corporal Jones was recruited from Betty French's Forlan Stud in Chippenham, Wiltshire, in February 2016.

His family line can be traced back to the 19th Century.

The Regiment said they chose a Welsh mountain pony to keep in touch with their 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.

There continues to be a varied and colourful breed of characters serving with other units, including a wolfhound, ram, antelope, bull terrier and even a couple of ferrets.

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Trooper Jones was recognised for his "performance" on parade (Picture: British Army).