History was made as the first female drum horse, who came from a small farm in Pembrokeshire, participated in Trooping the Colour in front of the new King and Queen.

Willa Rose, who has now received her regimental name of Major Juno, is the first mare ever to carry drums for the Household Cavalry.

Western Telegraph: Major Apollo and Major Juno, both from Dyfed Shire Horse Farm, make history at Trooping the Colour.

Willa Rose was born on the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm in Eglwyswrw in May 2013, the fourth generation of the Dyfed shire bloodline began by John Rees Lewis, 40 years ago.

Willa Rose, standing at over 18.2hh and weighing almost a metric tonne, joined her old farm friend Ed, now known as Major Apollo, who left the farm for the Household Cavalry in late 2019.

Both have followed in the footsteps of Juno’s uncle Celt, Major Mercury, the senior drum horse in the Household Cavalry who left Eglwyswrw in 2008. Celt died in 2021 and is now buried at the farm where he was born.

Both Major Apollo and Major Juno did the farm proud as they stepped out for the King’s first trooping the colours this weekend.

They were watched on from the stands by Dyfed Shire Horse Farm owners Huw Murphy and Mark Cole, as well as an audience of hundreds of thousands who watched the ceremony as it was broadcast around the world.


Major Apollo also made history as the only shire horse to have performed at HM The Queen's Platinum Jubilee and final Trooping the Colour last June, at her State Funeral in September, at King Charles III's Coronation in May and now at the first King's Trooping the Colour since 1951.

“Today, we as a family at Horse Guards Parade and at our homes back in Wales and around the world, watched with pride and emotion as two shire horses from a small farm in Eglwyswrw, Pembrokeshire took centre stage for the The Household Cavalry, “ said Huw.

“Drum Horse Major Juno - Willa Rose formerly graduated onto parade as the first ever mare to carry those famous silver drums and she performed as if she'd been doing it all her life. She's shattered the equine glass ceiling.

“Drum Horse Major Apollo - Ed meanwhile was her loyal partner on parade, now going down in history himself.

Western Telegraph: Major Apollo and Major Juno, both from Dyfed Shire Horse Farm, make history at Trooping the Colour.

“In a history that goes back to the reign of King Charles II and the restoration of the 1660s, it is likely that they are the first pair to have performed as Drum Horses in the same Trooping the Colour parade, to have come from the same farm.

“What an outstanding example of the The Shire Horse breed they both are.

“It's wonderful for us to know that they have each other in London after their upbringing here in Pembrokeshire and we are incredibly proud of their progress.

“We are grateful for the wonderful work of the The Army in London/British Army in training them to perform at such historic occasions as central members of the The Band of The Household Cavalry.”