Copenhagen: The Duke of Wellington’s War Horse.


Yesterday’s post was dedicated to Marengo, one of Napoleon’s favorite horses. Today we can take a look at Copenhagen the horse of the Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

Copenhagen foaled in 1808 and was of Thoroughbred and Arabian parentage. He was the Duke of Wellington’s favorite horse and was ridden in several battles but the most famous of them, and certainly not for the faint of heart,  was the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815. Wellington was mounted on Copenhagen for some seventeen hours of the battle. When he dismounted he patted Copenhagen on the flank and the horse, quite probably  exhausted and overwrought kicked out and narrowly missed Wellington’s head!

He lived to a good age and died in February 1836 aged 28 years. The story goes that he had overindulged in too many sugary treats: sponge cakes, bath buns and chocolate creams. He was buried with full military honors at the Duke of Wellington’s country residence. A few years after his death the Duke was asked, by the United Services Museum, to have Copenhagen disinterred so that his skeleton could be displayed alongside the skeleton of Napoleon’s horse Marengo. The Duke refused.

After his father’s death the Duke’s son places a marble grave marker beside the tree that was planted over Copenhagen’s grave. The epitaph read.

“Here lies


the charger, ridden by


the entire day of the


Born in 1808. died 1836. God’s humbler instrument though meaner clay

should share the glory of that glorious day.”


Statue of The  Duke of Wellington and Copenhagen in Hyde Park Corner London England.

Tomorrow I will  tell you about a famous war horse in the  history of the USA. He is reported to be the only survivor of Custer’s ill fated last stand at the Battle of Little Big Horn.





15 Comments Add yours

  1. I love this! Horses have played such a permanent role in our world for so long. I love that they no longer have to see battle and we can spoil them with stables and rugs and take them on adventures in the pursuit of ribbons and goals in a 60×20!

    They are such brace animals, so giving and kind

    Mel x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great horse. Look forward to your next post of the famous horse in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. She’s a favorite of mine!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nathaswami says:

    I am told that a horse or for that matter any animal does not have the capacity to digest cooked sweets without harming the system.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I suspect you are right. It may not have been the best thing to feed him especially if they did it frequently. Horses can tolerate sugar cubes, in moderation, and treats with molasses and oats and bran but chocolate éclairs and such would be a no.


  4. Alli Farkas says:

    Hoping the Korean post includes Sgt. Reckless 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Absolutely! She is a favourite of mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Emma Cownie says:

    Thank you for your account of these notable horses. I hope that you will get on to the horses of WW1 too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you and yes on Nov 11 I will be posting on WW1. Before that there will be the Battle of little Big Horn, Korean War and war in Afghanistan.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        Looking forward to them all!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. That is wonderful!! I would like to be known as God’s humbler instrument!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes! Thank you for this comment it brings a wonderful perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Miss A says:

    Sponge cake ! Lovely 🙂
    He made use of his Arabic heritage in those long battles. Impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Sponge cake has at least a couple of food groups and he would have needed energy for 17 hours on the battlefield! Thanks for this comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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