Chester proudly leads Remembrance Day parade in Sandy to honour the fallen and war horses
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A huge crowd turned out to support former soldier Samantha Wenn whose horse Chester led this year’s Remembrance Day parade in Sandy.
Chester, who was proudly wearing a rug decorated with hand-knitted poppies, was greeted and cheered on as he led the procession ahead of a wreath laying ceremony at the town’s war memorial.
The poppies were donated by volunteers who responded to an appeal posted by Samantha on her Facebook page The Adventures Of The Floppy Eared Pony.
Said Samantha: “Chester led the parade in Sandy town centre to remember not only the fallen soldiers, but also to remember the war horses who served beside them. The local community came together to create our beautiful poppy rug.
“It was a brilliant day, and I couldn’t have been more proud especially as Chester had only heard the band once before taking the lead, so his manners were impeccable.”
She added on her Facebook post: “The flags, the loud speakers, sound of the marching behind you, drums, trumpets and the large crowd around you, you held your head up with a sparkle in your eye, knowing you had a very important part to play.
"To lead the Remembrance Day parade will always hold a special place in my heart. Thanks too to everyone who helped us create our beautiful poppy rug, without your help this would have been possible.”
Samantha posted an appeal on her Facebook page to ask if residents would be interested in helping make a rug for Chester filled with poppies and was overwhelmed with the response.
She added: “It was phenomenal. The local residents came together to create a beautiful poppy rug made out of hand-knitted poppies.
“My mum then spent many hours and months sewing all these beautiful poppies on by hand. The rug is over 7ft, so very heavy and all the poppy buttons and leaves were sewn on individually.”
Samantha was in the Army for eight years, receiving a medal after a six-month tour of Afghanistan.
She added: “This is our way of showing our respects not only for the fallen soldiers but also the animals who served beside them.”