Today, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi bid farewell to Virat, the elite horse of the President’s bodyguard. On Wednesday, after the conclusion of the Republic Day celebrations on Rajpath, the President was escorted back to Rashtrapati Bhavan by Virat, who was retiring after 13 years of service.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh joined PM Modi and the President in bidding farewell to Virat, who had taken part in the national capital’s final Republic Day parade on Rajpath.
Virat received the Chief of the Army Staff Commendation earlier this year on Army Day, making him the first horse to receive the award for exceptional service and abilities.
Virat was the first horse of the President’s Bodyguard to receive this award solely for his role as “charger.” Virat arrived in 2003, when he was three years old, from the Remount Training School and Depot in Hempur. His grace, elegance, and natural beauty, combined with his sublime nature, made him everyone’s favourite.
For the past 13 years, Virat has served as Commandants Charger, escorting the President during Republic Day parades and receiving visiting Heads of State during ceremonial receptions at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The PBG announced Virat’s retirement following the conclusion of the Republic Day parade, saying the horse would continue to adorn the PBG stables until he died.