Australian-bred horses were exported to Thailand earlier this year to participate in the Cavalry Honour Guard for the Royal Cremation Ceremony for His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 29 October 2017.
The horses were involved in the sixth procession to transfer the Royal Ashes from Phra Sri Rattana Chedi in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to be enshrined at Wat Rajabopidh and Wat Bovoranives.
Head of the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ Exports Division, Fran Freeman, said she was pleased Australian-bred horses were selected to play a role in honouring His Majesty the Late King during this solemn mourning period.
“The passing of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is a time of deep sorrow for the Thai people and we offer our condolences during this difficult time,” Ms Freeman said.
“The best horses were handpicked from across Australia by the Royal Thai Army’s 29th Cavalry Squadron, King’s Guard for their temperament, good health and physical attributes.
“Australian Government veterinarians examined the horses for any signs of disease or injury prior to export and certified that the horses met Thai importing conditions.
“The horses were safely transported to Thailand in August before successfully undergoing the mandatory 30 days of quarantine on arrival, where they acclimatised to their new environment.
“Australian horses are highly sought after in Thailand—they’re already accustomed to the heat, they’re generally of a smaller build suitable for the climate and the journey to Thailand is relatively brief.
“The Thai Cavalry have a history of importing Australian horses for their work and breeding programs. The 55 horses recently exported increased their number of working horses from approximately 160 to over 200.”