Sefton became symbol of struggle against IRA

Sefton became a symbol of the struggle against the IRA after surviving the 1982 Hyde Park bomb atrocity that left seven of his stablemates and four soldiers dead.

Despite 34 separate wounds that required eight hours of surgery, the critically injured animal recovered and was able to return to service where he became famous for battling against the odds.

The black gelding, who served with the British Army for 17 years from 1967 to 1984, went on to win the Horse of the Year - a prize Sergeant Michael Pedersen picked up on its behalf.

Sefton also became one of the first horses to be placed in the British Horse Society's equestrian Hall of Fame and has an annual prize named after him.

After joining the Army, he became a riding school horse before joining the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

Sgt Pedersen was riding the animal alongside 15 other horses from the regiment on July 20 when they were caught up in the nail-bomb attack during a Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Sefton suffered a number of critical injuries including a severed jugular vein, wounded left eye, while seven horses were killed and eight left badly hurt.

It is believed his life was saved by a guardsman who ripped off his shirt and used it to stem the flow of blood to his neck wound.

A second blast two hours later in Regents Park killed another seven soldiers.

Veterinary surgeons gave Sefton a 50/50 chance of surviving the shock and extreme blood loss, but the brave animal recovered after eight hours of surgery that saw nearly 30 pieces of shrapnel extracted from his body.

During his treatment Sefton received thousands of gifts from the public and he was back on regimental duty less than three months later.

He finally retired from the Household Cavalry in August 1984 and was moved to the Home of Rest For Horses in Buckinghamshire.

Sefton was put down at the age of 30 in July 1993 due to lameness - a complication of the injuries he suffered during the bombing.

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