Three military horses that got loose in London to feature in Trooping the Colour

Three military horses that got loose in London to feature in Trooping the Colour

Three military horses that got loose in central London earlier this year have been confirmed as having roles in Trooping the Colour on Saturday.

Five Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) horses were injured after being spooked by rubble being dropped through a plastic tunnel while on an exercise in Belgravia on April 24.

Horses Tennyson, Trojan and Vanquish will take part in the King’s Birthday Parade after making “swift and successful” recoveries and showing “such aptitude and eagerness”, the Army said on Thursday.

Tennyson will be riding in the prestigious Sovereign’s Escort at the rear rank of the second division, and will be ridden by the division’s most experienced rider, Corporal of Horse Harvey, to provide “extra confidence”.

Trojan and Vanquish will join the King’s Life Guard at Horse Guards, providing the ceremonial guard for the official entrance to the Royal Palaces, the Army said.

All three horses underwent rehabilitation at Hyde Park Barracks and a period of “expert respite care” at equine charity The Horse Trust following the incident, before returning to service last month.

Trooping the Colour, held on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall to celebrate the monarch’s official birthday, will be attended by the King after he returned to public-facing duties.

Charles will inspect the soldiers from a carriage rather than on horseback, it is understood.

Captain Charles Carr-Smith, 1 Troop Leader in the Life Guards Squadron of HCMR, said: “Tennyson has returned to service without missing a step. His return has lifted the spirits of those in 1 Troop the Life Guards.

“Knowing that this brilliant horse will once again carry its rider carefully down the Mall or canter off, leaping over log piles in Melton Mowbray, is a comfort to our less experienced riders, who will undoubtedly scramble to put their names alongside his, for daily exercise.”

The other two more seriously injured horses from April’s incident, Vida and Quaker, remain at The Horse Trust and “will do so for as long as they need”.

Three of the five riders who sustained injuries from the incident have recovered and are back on duty, while the other two are progressing in their recovery and expected to return in due course.

Confirmation of the horses’ participation in the event comes after animal rights group Peta wrote to the Army urging them to withdraw the horses and retire them permanently, warning of a risk to both the animals’ and the public’s safety.

Kate Werner, Peta’s senior campaigns manager, said in the letter: “Tradition is never an excuse for animal suffering, and each horse deserves to live free from the stress they endure when paraded through a busy, loud capital city with a human on their back, all for the amusement of noisy, unpredictable crowds.”