Operation Centaur's Majestic New Arrival
by Claire Owen
Operation Centaur, based in Richmond Park and Hampton Court, London, keep the art of working with rare breed heavy horses alive, through estate conservation, heritage, community projects and equine therapy.
On 25th May 2023 at midday, Operation Centaur welcomed the newest member of the Shire herd; Hampton Court King Charles, in honour of His Majesty the King in his Coronation year. Charles is a beautiful grey Shire and full brother to Hampton Court George, who was born in June 2020. He will join his brother George to work at Hampton Court Palace.
Shire horses are rare as a breed and grey Shires are rarer still. "A grey Shire foal is a cause for celebration" - Edward McDowell, Operation Centaur.
Operation Centaur Shire horses are working horses. They have an important role in modern conservation management. Their work includes grass cutting, bracken control, hay cutting and regenerating wild flower meadows.
The connection between Hampton Court Palace horses can be seen through histrory, particularly through the reigns of Henry VIII and Queen Victoria. The Shire stands as a symbol of power and tradition. Visitors to Hampton Court Palace exploring it's rich history and grandeur can take a Shire Horse tram ride (weather dependant) in the Palace Gardens (Weather dependant and check website for details)