It was with great sadness that one of our horses, Duke, was put down on Friday evening.
Duke, a 25year old Clydesdale, had been with the College for over 20 years and was much loved by all who met him. Thousands of students have passed through the College in the time that Duke was at Capel, many of them working closely with him through Animal Care or Saddlery courses.
Over the years, Duke has entertained crowds, pulled drays, won shows, demonstrated logging, harvested fields, and wowed royalty. He proved a faithful old friend to farm staff and particularly to his partner in crime Wallace. When asked about Duke’s memorable moments, our farm technician Paul suggested the time that Duke met the Queen. Charmed by his careful hair braiding, the Queen asked Duke ‘Do you have that haircut every day?’
Duke had been ill for many months and, despite putting up a real fight, his condition deteriorated rapidly last week. On Friday night, the vet felt it was time to say farewell to this fine horse.
Duke’s ashes will be scattered at the Farm in our new Forest Garden and an oak will be planted in his memory. It will be a fitting tree for such a strong and dependable old friend.