Injured military horses ‘continue to be cared for and closely observed’ – Army

Two military horses seriously injured after running loose through London on Wednesday “continue to be cared for and closely observed”, the Army has said.

The animals underwent surgery overnight on Wednesday and were said to be in a “serious condition” by defence minister James Cartlidge on Thursday morning.

A British Army spokesperson said later in the day that it was “too early to know” whether either will be able to return to official duties.

Four of the horses who broke loose have now been named: Vida, Trojan, Quaker and Tennyson.

Both Vida and Quaker were operated on overnight, with the latter being moved to an equine hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning for further specialist treatment, the Army said in a statement.

Vida was the grey horse seen in videos and images from Wednesday covered in blood galloping through central London, alongside black horse Trojan, and has since returned to its stables at the Hyde Park Barracks.

A group of seven horses and six soldiers from the Household Cavalry were on an extended exercise in Belgravia on Wednesday when the horses were spooked by builders moving rubble.

Four service personnel were thrown from their horses and five of the animals got loose, smashing into vehicles, including a double-decker bus, and causing a number of injuries.

London horse incident
Two horses on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

In a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Friday, the British Army said: “Every one of the horses involved continues to be cared for and closely observed.

“Two of the injured horses have been operated on, with one transferred to an equine hospital.

“All 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 Army said three soldiers who were injured would “recover fully and return to duty”.

A British Army spokesperson said on Friday that the force hoped both injured horses would make a recovery, but that “whether they will recover enough to return to official duties, it’s too early to know for sure”.

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

London horse incident
Two of the animals, a black horse and a grey drenched in blood, were seen galloping through central London (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Ambulance crews treated four people on Wednesday 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.

The drama began near Buckingham Palace Road where witnesses saw a serviceman thrown from his horse, and one of the loose animals crashed into a taxi waiting outside the Clermont Hotel, shattering windows.

Two horses were then seen running in the road near Aldwych, one of which appeared to be covered in blood, which the Army said was “consistent with lacerations”.

Mr Cartlidge told Sky News on Thursday: “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.”

Jordan Pettitt, 26, who works for the PA news agency, said the grey horse was “vividly” stained red with blood and he heard a black horse collide with a taxi.

The animals were later seen near the Limehouse Tunnel, before they were recaptured by City of London Police and taken away to be assessed by Army vets.