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Two horses ‘in serious condition’ after London bolt


Two of the horses who bolted and ran loose in London yesterday are in a “serious condition”, a UK minister has said.

A group of seven horses and six soldiers from the Household Cavalry were on an extended exercise in Belgravia 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.

Two of the animals, a black horse and a white one drenched in blood, were seen galloping through central London.

Defence minister James Cartlidge revealed their names were Quaker and Vida, with the Ministry of Defence confirming the black animal was Quaker, and the white one Vida.

The pair were captured on the Highway near Limehouse, more than five miles from where they first bolted.

Mr Cartlidge also 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 army 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 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.

It is understood that three soldiers were assessed in hospital for their injuries, which were not thought to be serious.

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 the 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 white 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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