Daily Archives: February 19, 2010

On Thursday in the Notebook column I reported the early stages of a merciless bureaucratic assault on the army stables.

It makes passing reference to Dudley, a six-year-old Irish-bred grey gelding, who is fitted with a leopard-skin saddle as mascot for the Queen’s Royal Hussars.

The article suggests that Dudley, like the other MoD horses, has a “through life cost” to the taxpayer of £150,000. This deserves to be corrected. A reader has let me know that Dudley may actually be a private military company, only indirectly benefiting from taxpayer support.

I would like to point out a quite significant misconception in your notebook piece: Dudley is not paid for by the defence budget but by the officers of the regiment, who all chip in to fund his procurement, through-life costs, and  personal equipment. Technically he may therefore be a Private Military and Security Company.

Dudley, please accept my apologies. The full notebook extract is copied below. Read more