Cavalry horses in serious condition after bolting

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Horses filmed running in central London

By Jess Warren
BBC News

Two Household Cavalry horses are in a serious condition after they threw off their riders and raced through London.

Five horses were spooked by a loud noise in Belgravia and ran through the city, colliding with vehicles, including a double-decker bus and taxi.

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

Three soldiers and a member of the public needed hospital treatment.

‘Extremely unlikely’

An MoD source said on Thursday that the condition of two of the five horses’ was serious, while defence minister James Cartlidge told Sky News: “They are in a serious condition, but as I understand, still alive.”

The minister also confirmed the two animals were called Vida and Quaker.

Mr Cartlidge described the incident as an “exceptional” situation, explaining that more than 150 animals were on exercise in the capital each day.

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

Eyewitness Tony Bonsignore said a horse collided with a tour bus at the scene – none of the bus staff were injured

“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.”

The chaos began on Wednesday morning when members of the Household Cavalry – military personnel who carry out ceremonial duties around Buckingham Palace – were taking part in a rehearsal for a Major General’s Inspection.

The event will take place on Thursday in Hyde Park.

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 windows.

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

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

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”.

In a video posted by the Army on X, he expressed “heartfelt gratitude” to the emergency services and members of the public who helped to secure the horses.

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.

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

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