UK

Two horses that bolted through central London in a ‘serious condition’ – as animals named

Two horses which bolted and charged through central London are in a “serious condition”, a minister has said.

The Household Cavalry said the animals – which were taking part in what the Army called a “routine exercise” in the Belgravia area on Wednesday – were spooked by builders dropping rubble from a height “right next to them”.

Two horses on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych.
Pic : PA
Image:
Two horses bolted through the streets of London. Pic : PA

Defence minister James Cartlidge told Sky News on Thursday morning: “There were five horses. They have all been recovered.

“Three of them are fine, two of them are unfortunately in a relatively serious condition and obviously we will be monitoring that condition.”

He added: “They are in a serious condition, but as I understand, still alive.”

The minister also confirmed the names of the two animals, Vida and Quaker.

He stressed while the footage that emerged of the horses running through the capital was “dramatic”, it was “a very exceptional event”.

“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.”

A map of where the horses travelled
Image:
A map of where the horses travelled

Four service personnel were thrown from their horses and the animals that ran loose smashed into vehicles, including a taxi and a tour bus.

Paramedics treated four people in three separate incidents in Buckingham Palace Road, Belgrave Square, and at the junction of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street, in the space of just 10 minutes.

Some of the soldiers were taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries, which were not thought to be serious.

Pic: Alice Porter
Image:
Pic: Alice Porter

Two horses on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych. 
Pic PA
Image:
Pic. PA

One witness got off a bus and described seeing two horses, one black and the other white, “flying past”.

“The white one was drenched in blood from the chest down and they were galloping through the traffic at speed,” she said.

“People were stopping in the street shocked. The horses were running into fast-moving traffic and seemed terrified. Some unmarked police cars were chasing after them, which didn’t seem to be helping.

“I felt shocked. It was pretty gruesome. Felt like a weird dream.”

The horses were eventually recaptured by City of London Police and taken away to be assessed by Army vets.

The animals are all receiving care from vets at Hyde Park barracks.

Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Matt Woodward said in a video statement posted on X the unit exercises around 150 horses on the roads and in parks every morning, partly to help desensitise them to city noise.

He said the “shock” of building materials being dropped from a height near them caused the horses to bolt and unseat some riders

He added: “Thankfully, considering the frequency of exercise and numbers of horses involved, this type of incident is extremely rare, we continue to strive to minimise the risk of this recurring.

“As ever we are grateful for due consideration given by the members of the public to not making loud noises around our horses.”

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