Two military horses undergo operations after running loose in London

Two military horses seriously injured after running loose through London on Wednesday have undergone operations, the British army has said.

It comes after UK defence minister James Cartlidge said the animals were in a “serious condition” on Thursday morning.

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

Vida was the grey horse seen in videos and images from Wednesday covered in blood galloping through central London, alongside black horse Quaker.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, the British army said one of those operated on had been taken to an equine hospital.

A group of seven horses and six soldiers were on an extended exercise in central London on Wednesday when they were spooked by builders moving rubble.

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

The British army said three soldiers who were injured would “recover fully and return to duty”.

The statement said: “Of the seven horses which were spooked, five tried to bolt and four, Vida, Trojan, Quaker and Tennyson, broke loose. Two of the injured horses were operated on last night, with one transferred to an equine hospital. All remaining horses are being closely observed.

“Our horses receive the highest standards of care, and those that did not undergo surgery are expected to return to duty in due course. We want to thank everyone who has shown such kindness and concern towards our soldiers and horses. We will provide more updates soon.”

Mr Cartlidge had earlier told Sky News: “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.”

Asked about the condition of two of the horses by LBC, the minister said he “wouldn’t want to say more” than that they were in a serious condition.

He added: “Obviously, we didn’t want that situation to happen. What I would stress to you is that this is very exceptional.

“You are probably aware that the qrmy has horses out on exercise in central London every day of the week. It is about 150 horses on average exercising every day.

“So this is extremely unlikely, this scenario. Unfortunately, we have seen what has happened, but all I can say is the crucial thing, as you said yourself, no serious injuries to the public as far as we aware, and of course we will be keeping an eye on the situation.”

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.

Another of the animals crashed into a tour bus, smashing the windscreen.

Two horses were then seen running in the road near Aldwych, one of which appeared to be covered in blood.

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.


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