The Royal Regiment of Scotland has announced the sad passing of its beloved retired regimental mascot.
Shetland pony Cruachan III, who served across the world, was sadly put down yesterday, at the age of 30, after suffering from arthritis.
The Royal Scots announced his death in a tweet, which read: ‘With great sadness, we bid farewell to Cruachan III, companion and predecessor to the current mascot Cruachan IV. He will be missed by all.’
He was put to sleep in his stable at Edinburgh’s Redford Barracks.
Cruachan III with Corporal Mark Wilkinson, the Royal Regiment of Scotland’s pony major
Paying tribute, the Royal Regiment of Scotland’s pony major Cpl Mark Wilkinson said in a statement: ‘Although we did not work on any ceremonial events together, Cruachan III has spent his last five and a half years in retirement with me.
‘He has helped to train and keep Cruachan IV in line — I know for certain Cruachan IV would not have been as easy to train if it had not been for his calming influence, stern demeanour and occasional nip and telling-off.
‘I will always be in debt to him for giving me the opportunity to meet so many people, both civilian and military.
‘Her Majesty The Queen always asked for him and everyone always smiled when they saw him, this is a testament to how loved he was.
‘He had been challenged with numerous health problems in his later years, which he had always been able to beat. Unfortunately this one was too much.
‘An animal first but soldier second, he held all values and standards we would expect in a Scottish soldier coming into work. Nothing was ever a chore and I will miss not seeing his face covered in feed every morning.
‘Goodnight, Wee Man. Rest easy.’
Corporal Mark Wilkinson, the Royal Regiment of Scotland’s pony major, has paid tribute to Cruachan III
From his official Twitter account, Cruachan IV tweeted: ‘It is with huge sadness I inform you of the passing of the legend that was Cruachan III my predecessor and companion
‘For the past the months the auld man was suffering with arthritis he was in too much pain and it was decided from the vets it would be kinder for him to go to sleep. With great sadness he was put to sleep.’
Cruachan III joined the 1st Battalion the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in September 1995, and served with the battalion across Scotland and England, including stints with the Royal Guard at Balmoral.
His duties also saw him travel abroad on tours of duty to the Balkans, Iraq and Northern Ireland.
Brave Cruachan was awarded the NATO Former Yugoslavia Medal, the Iraq Medal, the General Service Medal with the Northern Ireland Clasp, the Accumulated Service Medal and the Jubilee Medal.
Then when the Royal Regiment of Scotland was created in 2006, he became its first mascot, attending the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in May 2012.
Cruachan III retired from service after the final night of the 2012 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, having led the guard of honour.