A man who served in the Queen’s personal guard had developed such a strong bond with the horse he was partnered with that he adopted the animal after it was retired from service.
Ezphia Rennock, 35, from Preston, Lancashire, spent seven years in the Queen’s personal guard before retiring in 2007 to raise a family. During that time, he was partnered with a horse named Agricola.
Watch the video to find out more of Ezphia’s story below.
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Video credit: Rumble
When he left the army, Ezphia expected to never see Agricola again but his friends who were still in the unit told him that the horse was going to be retired in 2019. Ezphia took that opportunity and now Agricola is spending his retirement in a luxury stableyard near Ezphia’s home that is owned by the Queen.
Ezphia said: “I joined the Queen’s guard in 2000 which is where I met Agricola.
“He was a proper troublemaker, I was new so they assigned me to him which at the time didn’t seem like a good thing.
“We were both crows, which is what new members are called so we met at the same stage of our military career.
“He was only young so he used to throw people off him all the time, we gradually bonded so he accepted me and our friendship just grew stronger from there.
“I used to sit there with him every day and tell him that one day after retiring I would come back and adopt him so we could be together once we had completed our service.
“My friends who are still working at Knightsbridge let me know that he was retiring and a short time later I went to visit Knightsbridge and noticed that Agricola’s saddle was still hung up.
“I asked about adopting him and he was about to go into bidding for anyone who wanted him.
“It was a closed bid so you don’t know who has bid the most but the highest bidder usually gets the horse.
“I enclosed a cover letter stating why I wanted to adopt him and although I was not the highest bidder, they called me instantly and told me to come and pick him up.”
“I now rent space at one of the Queen’s stables where he will live out his retirement and I visit him every day.”
The Knightsbridge Barracks, the Queen’s personal guard, accepted Ezphia into its ranks in 2000. He was then matched with fellow newcomer Agricola who was difficult to control at the time.
Ezphia said: “I was a trooper from 2000 to late 2007 in the household cavalry blues and royals.
“Agricola was hard to control and never really matched with anyone who could handle him.
“He was a very smart horse though so he was a good guard horse, he was cheeky and naughty so I persevered and we bonded.
“Coming away from home as a 17-year-old it was difficult, and Agricola was where I found companionship.
“I loved all of the horses, but Agricola was special.”
The pair worked well together and were often assigned to Buckingham palace although they also accompanied the Queen during official royal events.
Ezphia said: “Essentially, whenever there is a royal occasion the Queen quite literally brings all the kings’ horses and all the king’s men.
“Together we covered the Queen mother’s funeral, princess Margaret’s funeral and we were part of the royal escort, we protected any royals from other countries who visited.
“After I retired, Agricola followed Prince William and Duchess Kate on their wedding day.”
In 2016, Ezphia got word that Aggy was going to retire. So in February 2019, Ezphia went with his partner, Kirsty, 32, to Knightsbridge to reunite with his former colleagues and Agricola.
Ezphia said: “It was a really emotional moment, he recognized me instantly, it sounds odd but it was as if I hadn’t ever left.
“It brought back so many fond memories of our time together and now we can make even more of them
“I made the arrangements to adopt him and bring him home, we spent nearly 10 years together and I couldn’t wait to bring him home but there were more than just me interested in adopting him.”
Aggy then moved to Dutchy yard, one the Queen owns but rents out to farmers.
Ezphia said: “He’s gone from staying with the queen to paying her rent and the yard is amazing.
“We served her majesty the queen together for nearly a decade, we bonded, we became best friends, and now we’ve retired together.”