Army issues update on injured Household Cavalry horses that rampaged across London

A spokesperson said that ‘healing can be a slow and unpredictable process’

Emma Guinness
Saturday 11 May 2024 15:36 BST
Witness recalls chaos as blood-soaked horses ran loose through London

The Army has issued an update on the Household Cavalry horses who were injured after they bolted from Buckingham Palace and rampaged through London last week.

Five people were injured after seven service horses — one of which was covered in blood — ran loose through the Strand, smashing into vehicles and bringing parts of the capital to a standstill.

Two of the horses in particular were understood to have been seriously injured sparking an outpouring of concern across the UK.

However, an Army spokesperson has now suggested that both Vida and Quaker are making good progress – but warned that the recovery process can be unpredictable.

“Healing can be a slow and unpredictable process, but the soldiers and horses injured in the incident in Westminster on 24th April are making remarkable progress.

“They are receiving the best care possible and have our very best wishes – something we’re heartened to see is shared by millions of people around the country,” they said.

Household Cavalry horses Vida (grey) and Trojan (black) bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych (Jordan Pettitt/PA)
Household Cavalry horses Vida (grey) and Trojan (black) bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych (Jordan Pettitt/PA) (PA Wire)

The good news comes after widespread public concern for the animals, one of which was visibly bleeding as it galloped through the streets of the capital.

Nic De Brauwere, Head of Behaviour at Redwings Horse Sanctuary, told The Independent that the situation for the bleeding horse may not have been as serious as it looked.

“I think it’s important to recognise that the amount of blood that you see is probably a very thin layer of blood smeared,” he said.

“It was probably a couple of small blood vessels that were injured and they can bleed quite profusely when the adrenaline is up.”

The animals were spooked by noise from a building site (Jordan Pettitt/PA)
The animals were spooked by noise from a building site (Jordan Pettitt/PA) (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

The incident began on the morning of 24 April, when the horses were spooked by the noise from a nearby building site. This prompted them to throw off their riders and run.

What followed was a dramatic rampage through London that left several people injured and saw the animals run into a taxi and a tour bus.

Roland, a worker for the tour bus company, Toot Bus, said: “I saw horses come from the bus station in front of Victoria run around in a frenzy.

“People were running around to avoid them – it was total mayhem.”

All of the people involved in the incident are expected to make a full recovery.

Household Cavalry taking part in the annual inspection
Household Cavalry taking part in the annual inspection (Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

The horses belong to the Household Cavalry and following their capture they were returned for medical attention.

“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,” the defence minister James Cartlidge told Sky News on 26 April.

The animals have been closely monitored since then and the latest update suggests that there will be a happy ending for all involved.

“Our horses receive the highest standards of care, and those that did not undergo surgery are expected to return to duty in due course,” the British army said in another statement on Twitter (X).

“We want to thank everyone who has shown such kindness and concern towards our soldiers and horses.”

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