2 Horses in Serious Condition After London Escape

British Army says one is in equine hospital
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2024 7:24 AM CDT
Updated Apr 25, 2024 8:21 AM CDT
A Wild Sight in the Heart of London: Galloping Horses
A white horse on the loose bolts through the streets of London near Aldwych, on Wednesday April 24, 2024.   (Jordan Pettitt/PA via AP)
UPDATE Apr 25, 2024 8:21 AM CDT

British officials say two of the runaway military horses that galloped through central London on Wednesday are in serious condition and have been operated on. In an update on X, the British Army said the horses that broke loose are named Vida, Trojan, Quaker, and Tennyson. One of them, Quaker, remains in an equine hospital, the BBC reports. A fifth horse tried to bolt but did not break loose. One horse collided with a taxi and another crashed into a bus. The commanding officer of the Household Cavalry said the horses were spooked when building materials were dropped from a height. Three soldiers were hospitalized after they were thrown from their saddles but they are expected to fully recover, the Army said. There has not been an update on the condition of an injured cyclist.

Apr 24, 2024 7:24 AM CDT

It was a sight that might have been common in a different era: horses racing through central London. That was the scene early Wednesday when a number of runaway military horses caused an "almost surreal spectacle," as the New York Times puts it, injuring pedestrians and colliding with vehicles. The BBC pieces together the sequence of events via the army, which says seven horses and six riders from the Household Cavalry were taking part in an exercise prior to Thursday's Major General's Inspection, which units must pass prior to participating in King Charles' birthday parade.

The horses were reportedly spooked around 8am near the Hyde Park barracks, possibly by construction noise; four soldiers were thrown from their horses and five horses escaped. All were recovered, but not before causing incidents in three London locations that caused four people to be taken to the hospital. The Times has a map showing where the horses took off from and where two were recovered two hours later, noting the recovery location "suggested they had galloped across much of London, from Westminster through Covent Garden and past the financial district."

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The BBC notes at least two horses appeared to have been injured; photos of a white horse show what could be blood covering its front. The Guardian has a photo showing the smashed window of a double decker bus that one of the horses apparently crashed into. All the animals are being seen by a vet. (More horses stories.)

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