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Video: Military horses rampage through London

Marine One is seen with Buckingham Palace in the background Monday, June 3, 2019 in London. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
April 26, 2024

Several military horses sparked city-wide alarm on Wednesday by running through the streets of London. One of the horses was covered in blood and remains in serious condition. 

According to a British Army spokesperson, seven military horses, identified as members of the Household Cavalry, were spooked by falling concrete while undertaking routine morning training on April 24. Five of the horses tried to bolt, with four of the horses successfully breaking loose.

A video of the horses rampaging through London was shared on social media by The Washington Post.

The British Army reported that two of the horses suffered serious injuries requiring operations, with one remaining hospitalized at an equine hospital. According to Sky News, the animals are still alive but in “serious condition.”

“Three of them are fine, two of them are unfortunately in a relatively serious condition and obviously we will be monitoring that condition,” Defense Minister James Cartlidge said. “They are in a serious condition, but as I understand, still alive.”

READ MORE: Arlington Nat’l Cemetery horse-drawn funeral operations suspended

Wednesday’s incident has sparked calls for an investigation into the treatment of cavalry horses. Animal Rising, a non-profit dedicated to animal and climate protection, posted a petition requesting the horses’ retirement to the social media site X, formerly Twitter. The petition has currently gathered over 12,000 signatures.

During Wednesday’s incident, several soldiers were thrown from their horses, according to Sky News. The soldiers were taken to the hospital for evaluation and are expected to return to duty. According to The New York Post, Wednesday’s incident did not result in any major injuries to British military members or the public.

In a post to X, the official British Army account stated, “the well-being of the horses remains a top priority,” while thanking the public for the concern expressed for both the horses and soldiers.

A spokesperson for the British Army confirmed to BBC News that no plans have been made to return the horses to duty. “We are hoping that both these horses make a recovery,” the spokesperson said. “Whether they will recover enough to return to official duties, it’s too early to know for sure.”

“But they’ve been given the best veterinary treatment possible,” the spokesperson added. “Vida was the most visibly injured and the pictures of the horse running through London soaked in blood were horrifying.”

While specifics regarding the horses’ injuries were not provided, the spokesperson did offer more insight into the recovery challenges faced by the horses. “The extent of the injuries is not completely clear, but we don’t believe at this stage there are any broken bones,” the spokesperson said. “The injuries are consistent with serious lacerations.”