Military horses that bolted through London set to star in Trooping the Colour

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Quaker (left) and Vida (right) appeared bright and in good spirits, clearly displaying a close bond with each other. © Crown copyright 2024. MOD Crown Copyright News / Editorial Licence.

Military horses, seen galloping through central London in a dramatic incident earlier this year, are expected to take part in Trooping the Colour after making a remarkable recovery, the Army has revealed.

The chaos erupted on April 24 when two horses bolted after being spooked by rubble dropping through a plastic tunnel during an exercise in Belgravia.

The terrified horses were caught on camera covered in blood and broadcast worldwide, capturing the hearts of millions.

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) announced that the Life Guards soldiers and five Military Working Horses injured in the incident are “continuing to make remarkable progress in their recovery.”

Among the horses injured, Trojan, Tennyson, and Vanquish are back on duty and are expected to participate in the King’s Birthday Parade on June 15.

The grand celebration, held on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, will see the King inspecting the soldiers from a carriage rather than on horseback.

Meanwhile, Vida and Quaker, the two most severely injured horses, are “enjoying a summer holiday” in the countryside but are anticipated to return to duty soon.

Three of the injured soldiers have also resumed their duties, while two are still recovering but are expected to make a full recovery.

The April incident saw service personnel thrown from their horses as the animals bolted through London, crashing into vehicles, including a double-decker bus. Ambulance crews treated four people in three separate incidents within a ten-minute span.

After the incident, Trojan, Tennyson, and Vanquish were sent to The Horse Trust in the Chilterns for respite care. They have since returned to Hyde Park Barracks. Vida and Quaker, having been pronounced fit to travel, are also recuperating at The Horse Trust.

Vida, who was seen covered in blood while galloping through London, eagerly rolled in the grass upon arrival, turning from white to brown. The Army stated: “The horses appeared bright and in good spirits, clearly displaying a close bond with each other and the soldiers who accompanied them.”

Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive Officer at The Horse Trust:

“It has been a privilege to provide these wonderful horses with the space and time needed to fully recover. It’s been so lovely to see Trojan, Tennyson and Vanquish enjoying such a relaxing break and now we have Vida and Quaker already loving their time here. All five horses are much younger than our regular Service residents and seeing them running, rolling and generally having fun after such a challenging experience, is a real joy.”

Lieutenant Colonel Mathew Woodward, Commanding Officer HCMR:

“All five of the horses injured during the incident on 24th April are recovering with remarkable speed and it is very likely that Trojan, Tennyson and Vanquish will participate in the King’s Birthday Parade later this month. The remaining two, Vida and Quaker, are enjoying a summer holiday in the Chilterns thanks to The Horse Trust. They are expected to make a full recovery and we look forward to seeing them back on duty in due course. Of the two most seriously injured soldiers, one is continuing his recovery at home and the other at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Stanford Hall. They are both considered likely to return to military service in the fullness of time.”

For the horses, the remarkable recovery is thanks in no small part to the excellent in-house care they’ve received from the Army’s own dedicated veterinary surgeons and the amazing specialist support provided by The Horse Trust.

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