June 16, 2024

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Burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, with coffin carried on horse drawn caisson
FILE: Burial at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery, Virginia, with coffin carried on horse drawn caisson.

Visions of America/Common Images Team by means of Getty Photographs


The horses that guide the caissons keeping caskets of fallen company members at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery are having a 45-day crack in excess of considerations for their health. 

The Military in a assertion reported the suspension of the horses in the caisson platoon is intended to “prioritize the health of the herd.” The pause comes following 4 horses of the unit died in the previous two many years. The horses’ dwelling disorders have gone through new scrutiny. 

“We look forward to the return of the U.S. Army caisson horses undertaking their sacred responsibility of escorting our nation’s heroes to their remaining resting location,” Military spokesman Lt. Col. Terence Kelley stated in a statement. The suspension, which commenced on May well 1, is a “problems-centered” pause and will never affect armed forces funerals. The Army is searching at temporary methods like contracted products and services to provide funeral escorts when the army functioning horses just take a crack. 

Throughout the pause, horses with foot, joint or muscle challenges will have a “far more deliberate and sufficient relaxation and rehabilitation cycle,” in accordance to a spokesperson for the Army’s Armed forces District of Washington. The command will also acquire the time to procure added youthful horses and modernize equipment required to decrease potential foreseeable future accidents.  

“Unsatisfactory situations” for horses managed by infantry regiment

Last calendar year, an Military inspection very first reviewed by CNN identified that the additional than 60 horses managed by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also recognized as  “The Old Guard,” have been dwelling in “unsatisfactory ailments” at Fort Myer Caisson Barns and Fort Belvoir Caisson Pasture facility. 

The inspection requested by the unit’s commander was prompted by the demise of two horses in 96 hrs of every other in February 2022. Equally horses died as a result of severe gravel and sand impaction in their digestive methods. Tony, one particular of the horses that died, had 44 pounds of gravel and sand in his procedure, in accordance to CNN. 

Subsequent checks involved in the inspection showed 80% of all of the horses managed at the amenities experienced large or average stages of sediment in their units. Sediment could be discovered in their digestive procedure if horses are feeding on hay off the floor, fairly than off a feeding mat. 

The Army’s Military District of Washington and the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment have manufactured various adjustments to the care of the horses, as a result of suggestions produced immediately after the inspection, like getting much more feeding mats, hay high quality testing kits and a much more nutrient-well balanced feed. The command has also hired various equine specialists to support take care of the health of the herd. 

The fatalities of two other horses in the device about the previous yr ended up unrelated to the living disorders explained in the inspection, according to

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