Household Cavalry horses injured in London rampage may be rehomed

Vida, a grey, was seen galloping down The Strand after bolting near Hyde Park Barracks
Vida suffered a number of cuts, including at the knee, after bolting near Hyde Park Barracks - Jordan Pettitt/PA

The Army is considering dozens of offers to rehome Household Cavalry horses injured while charging through central London should they fail to resume active service.

The Horse Trust, the UK’s oldest equine charity, has offered to rehome the horses if they do not return to ceremonial duties.

Dozens of individuals have also said they will give the animals a home.

The four horses, one of which was covered in blood, rampaged through the capital on Wednesday morning in scenes that shocked Londoners.

The animals bolted and threw their riders, made up of the Lifeguards and Blues & Royals servicemen, after they had left Hyde Park Barracks on their daily morning exercise.

They were spooked by the noise of concrete being shifted by builders at a property in Belgravia and careered through the streets, hitting cars, buses and parked hire bikes as pedestrians fled.

Four soldiers were hurt but are all expected to recover and return to duty.

Army veterinary officers are keeping the horses under close observation, particularly Quaker and Vida – the grey pictured covered in blood from its wounds.

They both underwent surgery after suffering the most serious injuries, with Vida resting in Hyde Park Barracks following the operation, while Quaker was transferred to an equine hospital.

It is understood that Vida suffered cuts, including at the knee, and army vets are concerned about the injuries becoming infected.

Military sources have told The Telegraph there were no plans to euthanise either Quaker or Vida.

Vets still hope they will be able to recover fully, even if they cannot go on to resume their ceremonial duties.

The other two Household Cavalry horses that bolted, named Trojan and Tennyson, are resting under the observation

An Army source told The Telegraph: “There is no indication that any of the injured horses suffered broken limbs, but Vida’s injuries remain of concern because of a cut he suffered near his knee. If the cut becomes infected that would be a problem and so the vets are keeping a very close eye on him.

“They all remain under observation. After all, we’re only 72 hours from what were some very traumatic events for them.”

The Household Cavalry said on Friday that it would accept the rehoming offers if needed, but it still hopes the four injured animals will be able to resume active service and is concentrating on getting the horses fit and well enough to return to work.

Two of the four horses spooked by the noise of concrete being shifted by builders at a property in Belgravia
Two of the four horses spooked by the noise of concrete being shifted by builders at a property in Belgravia - Paul Grover for The Telegraph
An escaped horse in central London
Members of the public were forced to flee after Vida and three other horses bolted - Paul Grover for The Telegraph

The Horse Trust says it already has “many retired military horses” living their days out at its sanctuary.

Jessica Tallman, a director, said: “If the decision was made for them not to return to work, we would always welcome them into the care of our charity.

“The Horse Trust are experts in research and the care of service horses, and we have many retired military horses residing at our sanctuary.”

The Horse Trust provides “a restful and happy place of retirement for retired military horses who have served their country”, often working in dangerous battle conditions. One of its first veterans was San Toy, which served in the Boer and First World War and remained with the charity until its death in 1923.

Private individuals also can apply to rehome retired Household Cavalry horses that are no longer fit enough to carry out duties.

The Army source said: “The Household Cavalry has very close links with The Horse Trust for when horses reach retirement. Individuals can also apply to rehome horses once they have undergone assessment for suitability.

“But we’re not at that stage yet with the four that were hurt.”

The offers came as new footage emerged of Vida careering into a row of parked rental bikes with one of the other four horses. People can be seen rushing towards the animals to help.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, the Army said: “Every one of the horses involved continue to be cared for and closely observed.

“All our horses receive the highest standards of care, and those that did not undergo surgery are expected to return to duty in due course.

“There are no further updates regarding our soldiers who were injured in the incident. All are expected to recover and return to duty.”