Home » ‘Too early to know’ if horses from London’s Household Cavalry will return to duty

‘Too early to know’ if horses from London’s Household Cavalry will return to duty

Watch: Footage from Wednesday shows how chaos unfolded in London when Army horses bolted

It is “too early to know” whether two Household Cavalry horses will return to official duties after they were injured when they bolted through London.

Seven horses were spooked by a loud noise in Belgravia and four threw off their riders and ran through the city on Wednesday.

Two of the horses remain in a serious condition and have been operated on, the Army said.

Some of the horses hit vehicles, including a double-decker bus.

It happened on Wednesday during a military exercise, the Army said.

A spokesman for the Army said: “We are hoping that both these horses make a recovery. Whether they will recover enough to return to official duties, it’s too early to know for sure.

“But they’ve been given the best veterinary treatment possible.

“Vida was the most visibly injured and the pictures of the horse running through London soaked in blood were horrifying.

PA Media Two horses run through the street near AldwychPA Media

Trojan (left) and Vida, were seen running through London on Wednesday

“Vida was operated on overnight and is currently in stables at the Hyde Park Barracks under observation.

“Quaker was also operated on overnight but it was decided to move the horse to an equine hospital in the early hours.

“The extent of the injuries is not completely clear, but we don’t believe at this stage there are any broken bones. The injuries are consistent with serious lacerations.”

He added that of the three soldiers injured, one has been discharged, two remain in hospital, but that all are expected to return to duties.

A cyclist was also hospitalised in the incident. There is no further update on their condition.

PA Wire A black and white horse run through the street in central LondonPA Wire

The two horses seen in footage were Trojan (left) and Vida. The other horses that bolted were Tennyson and Quaker

‘Extremely unlikely’

Defence minister James Cartlidge said what happened on Wednesday was “exceptional”, explaining that more than 150 animals were on exercise in the capital each day.

“This is extremely unlikely, this scenario,” he told LBC.

“Unfortunately, we have seen what has happened, but all I can say is the crucial thing… no serious injuries to the public as far as we aware, and of course we will be keeping an eye on the situation.”

Photo showing smashed glass on a tour bus near the scene of the collision with a horse in London

Eyewitness Tony Bonsignore said a horse collided with a tour bus

The horses of the Household Cavalry are trained by the Army for several months and ridden on the streets of London to get them used to heavy traffic and loud noises, including gun salutes and military bands.

The chaos began on Wednesday morning when horses of the Household Cavalry – military regiments that carry out ceremonial duties around Buckingham Palace – were being exercised ahead of the Major General’s Inspection on Thursday.

One serviceman was thrown from his horse on Buckingham Palace Road, before one of the loose animals hit a taxi waiting outside the Clermont Hotel, shattering the vehicle’s windows.

Two of the animals were finally recovered in Limehouse in east London, more than five miles (about 8km) from where they bolted.

PA Media Members of the Household Cavalry on parade during the Major General's annual inspectionPA Media

The Major General’s inspection in Hyde Park took place as planned on Thursday

In total, four soldiers were thrown from their saddles, the Army said.

The horses involved had been due to take part in the Major General’s Inspection, which went ahead as planned on Thursday morning in Hyde Park.

The Major General, wearing a white plumed hat, rode in between rows of mounted troops to conduct the annual inspection ahead of this summer’s pageantry events.

The regiment then trotted around the cordoned-off square of grass as the brass band played.

A small crowd gathered to watch the parade and take photographs, despite the chilly weather.

Map detailing where the horses were spotted

Lt Col Matt Woodward, commanding officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, said the horses bolted after “building materials were dropped from height right next to them”.

A grey taxi badly damaged with smashed windows outside the Clermont hotel on Buckingham Palace Road

One of the animals hit a taxi waiting outside the Clermont Hotel, shattering the windows

Four people were treated by paramedics in Buckingham Palace Road, Belgrave Square, and the junction between Chancery Lane and Fleet Street, London Ambulance Service said. All four were taken to hospital.

It said the injuries were sustained between 08:25 and 08:35 BST.

London Fire Brigade said it used its drone team to help locate the animals.

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