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The Queen will retire The Royal Parks' Shire horse Jed, after almost a decade of loyal service, in a special presentation at Richmond Park's 'Wild London' event on Tuesday 15 May 2012.

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, will present a commemorative retirement rosette to Jed, who will be wearing his special sash, at The Royal Parks' stables in Richmond Park during the 'Wild London' Diamond Jubilee event.

Jed, 17.3 hands and born in 1993, joined The Royal Parks from the Bass Brewery in Burton upon Trent nearly ten years ago.

A familiar face for local residents and visitors to Barnes Fair and Syon Park Education Day, Jed has also appeared on Country File, By Royal Appointment and BBC Radio 4's Open Country.

Until the onset of arthritis, Jed worked four hours a day to keep Richmond Park - where The Queen spent many happy childhood weekends at White Lodge - looking spectacular for three million visitors a year.

Richmond Park Assistant Manager, Adam Curtis, said:

"Jed is tremendously popular and we are sad to see him go after nearly 10 years of service. Many of the Shire horses the public will see are used for show and have four white socks and a stripe, Jed has one black sock. However, he is a working horse and along with his marvellous temperament, his 'odd black sock' has endeared him to all who have seen him working the magnificent landscapes in the park."

With more than 20 years' combined service working with the Shire horses, Steve Green and Sandra Croxall know Jed better than anyone. At 7am every day, either Steve or Sandra comes to the stables to feed, water and harness the horses, before cleaning the stables out and loading the dray with tools to travel to the work site.

Spring and summer duties included road verge cutting, rolling bracken to preserve grassland and chain harrowing bridleways and paddocks. The gentle sounds of the Shires fit in with the tranquil landscape and working heritage of London's largest nature reserve.

In winter, Shire Horse staff, Sandra Croxall and Steve Green, spent days chain-sawing in the woods with Jed moving brash and extracting timber, bringing it back to the sawmill for processing. Once milled, the timber and horses are used to repair fences and build special crates protecting trees from damage by the hundreds of deer who live in Richmond Park.

Horses have been used in Richmond Park from its enclosure by King Charles I in 1637, to the present day. Heavy horses were disbanded in 1954, but after an absence of 39 years, The Royal Parks re-introduced the Shires in 1993 as a sustainable way to manage parkland.

When The Queen leaves Richmond Park, having presented Jed with the rosette in the presence of mounted members of Riding for the Disabled, her car will be followed by the 1920s traditional show dray with a special Diamond Jubilee head board.

The dray will be pulled by two Shire horses who are part of the six horse team, based at Hampton Court Palace and Richmond Park, which will serve all eight Royal Parks and Historic Royal Palaces in future.

Richmond Park Assistant Manager, Adam Curtis, said:

"Our partnership with Historical Royal Palaces opens a new chapter in the life of the Shire horses, ensuring that their much loved service to London's landscapes continues for many more decades."

Richmond Park

About Richmond Park and The Royal Parks:

Every year millions of Londoners and tourists visit Richmond Park, the largest of the capital's eight Royal Parks and the biggest enclosed space in London. The park is a National Nature Reserve, London's largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation. It is home to the beautiful Isabella Plantation, Pembroke Lodge and herds of Red and Fallow deer.

This summer Richmond Park will play a role in the London 2012 Games with the Olympic road race cycling route passing through the Park.

The Royal Parks are: Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, Richmond Park and St James's Park. The Royal Parks also manages Victoria Tower Gardens, Brompton Cemetery, Grosvenor Square Gardens and the gardens of 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street.

For further information please visit: www.royalparks.org.uk.

For media enquiries contact: 0300 061 2128 or press@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk.

About Historic Royal Palaces

Hampton Court Palace is managed by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces. The organisation also looks after four other palaces in London - the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace (in Kew Gardens) and the Banqueting House in Whitehall. We receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Registered charity number 1068852.

Hampton Court Palace is an Olympic venue for the Cycling Time Trial on 1 August 2012.

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