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This December 25, the Queen’s Household Cavalry will line up, as they do every year, for their annual inspection… to see if Santa’s beard is on straight and Rudolf’s nose is polished.
It’s the one day out of 365 that members of the oldest and most senior regiments of the British army let their famously polished guard down to enjoy a bit of fun between the serious duty of minding London’s royal residences. No pictures are ever released, but insiders say the Christmas fancy dress parade at Knightsbridge Barracks often features characters from stage and screen – Ninja Turtles are a perennial favourite – and the commanding officer awards the least monotonous duties to those who have made the most effort. So no pooh-picking for the winning private.
We’ve taken inspiration from the Queen’s Lifeguards – and some famously flamboyant competition riders – to bring you ideas for a festive fancy dress ride. Perhaps your horse is a budding Viking steed or a Pegasus in the making...
If you’re still stuck for what to wear on the Christmas ride, here are some off-the-shelf ideas…
The Horse Tailor can rustle up traditional Christmas outfits including elf sets, giftwrapped ponies, and a delux full-body Santa suit with red satin coat, white flowing noseband beard and black boots.
Channel your inner Viking and lead the Christmas ride on your Celtic steed, tacked up in faux fur breastplate and horns.
Pegasus, the mythical stallion, is the equine version of the Archangel. These Pegasus wings come in various colours and sizes.
One for Tim Burton fans and sure to delight or fright! If you have a black steed, even better. Check out the ‘Sally’ Nightmare Before Christmas costume.
No fancy dress list would be complete without a Christmas fairy and her unicorn. This from WishPony could make it a reality for you. For more options simply search for 'unicorn horns' at Etsy.
Keep up with the latest in equestrian lifestyle at Fei.org.
Text by Sue Scott