The Olympics buzz arrives on Horse Guards

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

As London 2012 draws ever closer, the Household Cavalry museum has joined in the spirit of the Games with the official opening of a new Olympic exhibition.

The exhibition, which opened on 29 March, celebrates the achievement of members of the Household Cavalry Regiment who have competed in the Olympic games since 1908.

The Olympics and the Household Cavalry have a longstanding relationship. One recent example in attendance was Dominic Mahony, a member of the Household Cavalry from 1983-1994 and also British Modern Pentathlon Team Manager at this year’s games.

As part of the exhibition Mr Mahony has leant the Bronze medal he won at Seoul in 1988 in the Modern Pentathlon team event, plus his accreditation passes for Seoul and Barcelona, his Seoul Team GB tracksuit top and an authentic Olympic torch which he carried at the 1996 Olympic Games centenary celebrations in Athens.

Also taking a personal interest was Lord Astor of Hever, Undersecretary of State for Defence and a former member of the Household Cavalry Regiment.

The Astor family has connections with the Olympics running back over 100 years which are brought to life at the exhibition through the Undersecretary’s grandfather’s Gold and Bronze medals from 1908. He won them in the doubles and individual Racquets competition the first time London hosted the modern Olympic Games.

Lord Astor of Hever, Under-Secretary of State for Defence, displays his grandfather's Gold and Bronze medals from the London 1908 Olympics
Lord Astor of Hever, Under-Secretary of State for Defence, displays his grandfather's Gold and Bronze medals fro m the London 1908 Olympics[Picture: Harland Quarrington, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

Viewing the exhibition, Lord Astor said:

This holds very personal memories for me, and I am honoured that my grandfather’s medals have been included in the display. I am proud of the achievements of the Household Cavalry, in both operational deployments around the world and representing Great Britain at the Olympic Games.

I hope others will come and enjoy seeing these special items as much as I have today in this exciting Olympic year.

Minister for Sport and Olympic Delivery Hugh Robertson MP, also a former member of the Household Cavalry Regiment, was also present and said:

This exhibition combines two of the best parts of my life and will be a fantastic addition to London in Olympic year. Given that both the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals are reasonably small regiments, their interaction with the Olympic Games has been considerable and there are some fascinating exhibits and stories.

The Olympic display will run until mid-June 2012 when the Olympics literally come to Horse Guards for the hosting of the Olympic Games Beach Volleyball competition, being held outside the museum on Horse Guards Parade. The Household Cavalry Museum is open daily from 1000hrs.