Celebrating 200 Years of Loyal Service to Canada

The Governor General’s Horse Guards have loyally served Canada since August 16, 1822, dating to the formation of the York Dragoons, a cavalry troop created to provide scouting and dispatch duties for the local infantry battalion. Under the leadership of Captain George Taylor Denison, the troop would become known as 1st Toronto Troop, or “Denison’s Troop”, and would be commanded by generations of the Denison family for 80 years.

The Troop was recognized as “D” Troop of the Canadian Active Militia in 1855 and designated the Governor General’s Body Guard (GGBG) in 1866. In May 1889, the GGBG was given regimental status upon the merger with two other local troops – the Markham Troop and the Oak Ridges Troop, and on December 15, 1936, amalgamated with another local unit, the 9th Mississauga Horse, resulting in the regiment of today, the Governor General’s Horse Guards (GGHG).

The troop distinguished itself on active duty participating in the 1837 Rebellion, the 1866 Fenian Raids and the North West Resistance of 1885 where it earned its first Battle Honour. In 1899, the GGBG augmented the Regular Army with 51 members serving South Africa, adding “South Africa 1900” to its Battle Honours. In World War I, the GGBG provided thousands of volunteers to the Canadian Expeditionary Force and formed some of the battalions sent to the trenches. One of those units, the famed 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles added 17 World War I Battle Honors to the regiment’s illustrious record. In World War II the regiment, now known as the “Horse Guards”, traded in its horses for tanks, and served in Italy and North West Europe, earning a further 9 Battle Honours. In the late 20th century, members of the regiment served on UN peacemaking and peacekeeping missions in Korea, Egypt, Cyprus and Bosnia, among others. In the 21st century, 36 members augmented the Regular Force over the 10-year conflict to earn the “Afghanistan” Battle Honour. More recently, a number of Horse Guards have served overseas in Eastern Europe or throughout the Middle East and over 90 members of the unit volunteered for active duty during the COVID-19 pandemic response in the spring of 2020.

This year’s 200th anniversary celebrations are dedicated to George Taylor Denison and all those that followed, serving with the regiment and its perpetuated units since 1822. A legacy “Second to None”.

This all kicks off with the “Trooping of the Standard” on Sunday, May 1, 2022. Details on this and other events are now available Here >>