Army

Why is a horse ridden up the steps at end of Sovereign's Parade?

There are different versions as to why the tradition at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst takes place.

The military is full of unique traditions and one such tradition is a horse being ridden up the steps at the end of the Sovereign's Parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

It sees the Adjutant ride their horse up the steps of Old College as they follow the graduating Officer Cadets through the Grand Entrance.

But why does this happen?

Well, there are different versions as to why the tradition takes place.

One version, according to Sandhurst Academy Adjutant, Major Chris Davies, is that in 1926 Boy Browning (Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Arthur Montague Browning), who was the Academy Adjutant at the time, "chased the officer cadets up the steps because he was so incensed at the standard of drill during a rehearsal and the tradition grew from there".

"Another version," he said, "is that he was out riding with the niece of the then-Commandant, they took a shortcut up some wooden steps on the common they were riding on, and she suggested why doesn't he do that during on parade. 

"He ran it by the Commandant at the time and said 'why not?' and that's the other version as to why the Adjutant does it."

While there is some uncertainty over how the tradition came about, the famous sight is not going anywhere.