Meet the Royal Regiment of Scotland’s mascot

The well-known saying ‘good things come in small packages’ has never been more true than when describing the Royal Regiment of Scotland’s pony mascot, Cruachan IV.

At just 11hh, what the nine-year-old Shetland pony lacks in height, he more than makes up for in personality, regularly grabbing headlines for his cheeky behaviour.

The tradition of having a black Shetland pony as an army mascot dates back to 1929 when Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, presented the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders with a black Shetland gelding.

The soldiers decided to name it Cruachan, the battle cry of Clan Campbell, and also the highest Munro in Argyll and Bute.

When the original Cruachan retired he was replaced with another black Shetland gelding with a white star who took over the role and was named Cruachan II. The tradition has continued and the current pony, affectionately called Four by his handler, took over the role in 2012 following the retirement of the much-loved Cruachan III.

When not undertaking public engagements in his role as mascot, Cruachan IV spends most of his time at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh where he is cared for by Pony Major Mark Wilkinson.

‘When Cruachan III retired, the army had to find a suitable replacement male black Shetland with a white star that had to have the right temperament to undertake all the duties that the pony mascot carries out,’ explains Mark.

‘We got Four from Clothie Stud in Dyce when he was four years old and he was presented to Her Majesty the Queen for approval before he began his training at Redford.’

Pictures by Angus Blackburn.

Read the full story in the latest issue of EQY Magazine, which comes with the July 2018 edition of Scottish Field.

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