Horses Run Loose Through Central London in Surreal Spectacle

Equipo
By Equipo
4 Min Read

Several runaway military horses galloped through the streets of London on Wednesday morning, alarming pedestrians, sideswiping cars and buses, and turning an ordinary rush hour into a frightening, almost surreal spectacle.

One person was being treated for injuries after being thrown from a horse on Buckingham Palace Road, according to the London ambulance service. News media reports said the horses belonged to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, a ceremonial unit that parades in royal pageants.

The ambulance service said later that at least five people had been injured in three locations, from Victoria to Belgrave Square and Fleet Street. At 10:30 a.m., the Metropolitan Police said that all the horses had been recovered.

The drama began shortly after 8 a.m. when the horses were apparently spooked and threw off the riders who were exercising them as they left their barracks in Hyde Park. Photos showed a soldier being treated while lying on the ground not far from Buckingham Palace.

Shortly before 10 a.m., the City of London police reported that its officers had corralled two of the horses near Limehouse, a neighborhood adjacent to the city’s Thames docklands. That suggested they had galloped across much of London, from Westminster through Covent Garden and past the financial district.

“We’re waiting for an Army horse box to collect the horses and transport them to veterinary care,” the city police said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Army later told The Daily Telegraph that horses had been recovered and returned to their camp. “A number of personnel and horses have been injured and are received appropriate medical attention,” the spokesman said.

Video footage showed two riderless horses — including a white one splashed with what appeared to be blood on its neck, chest and forelimbs — galloping in Aldwych, a stately area south of Covent Garden. Their hooves echoed between the grand stone buildings as pedestrians scattered, cars honked, and double-decker buses jerked to a stop.

The white horse, wearing a saddle and stirrups, was caught on video later galloping in the vicinity of Tower Bridge. Other pictures showed a double-decker tour bus with a smashed windscreen and a gray van with a dented door and smashed window.

As the incident unfolded, the Metropolitan Police said, “We are aware of a number of horses that are currently loose in central London and are working with colleagues, including the Army, to locate them.” The police did not offer details on where the horses had come from, but the Army identified them as belonging to the Household Cavalry.

The Household Cavalry — made up of the two most senior units in the British army, The Life Guards and the The Blues & Royals — is a familiar sight in royal pageants, from the coronation of King Charles III last May to the state funeral of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September 2022.

Its horses are trained to be comfortable in busy streets and around people.

Tourists often pose for pictures in front of the horses when they stand guard in front of Horseguards Parade, a ceremonial parade ground on Whitehall, north of 10 Downing Street. The soldiers astride them only occasionally scold visitors for getting too close or disturbing the animals.

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