What happened to London runaway horses that bolted through the city?

The runaway army horses that tore through central London are making a 'remarkable recovery'

Two horses on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych, on Wednesday April 24, 2024. (Jordan Pettitt/PA via AP)
Horses on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych. (PA via AP)

Content warning: graphic photo

Two military horses seriously injured after running loose through London last week are making 'remarkable progress" after surgery, the British Army has said.

Quaker, a Cavalry black, and a grey called Vida bolted off after being spooked by builders moving rubble while they were on an extended exercise in Belgravia with five other horses and six soldiers from the Household Cavalry last Wednesday.

An Army spokesperson told The Independent: "Healing can be a slow and unpredictable process, but the soldiers and horses injured in the incident in Westminster on 24th April are making remarkable progress.

“They are receiving the best care possible and have our very best wishes – something we’re heartened to see is shared by millions of people around the country."

In a previous update on the animals, the army had said Quaker was expected to make a full recovery.

“The other horse, Vida, a grey, continues to make progress. He remains under close and careful professional veterinary observation as his wounds heal," the statement said.

The horses who broke loose were later named as Vida, Trojan, Quaker and Tennyson.


On 24 April, five horses broke loose during an extended exercise with six soldiers in Belgravia after being spooked by building work in the area, smashing into vehicles, including a double-decker bus.

Three personnel from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment received treatment in hospital after incurring injuries which were not reported to be serious. A fourth person who was injured in the incident is believed to be a cyclist.

Emergency services were called shortly after 8am after reports of a rider coming off a horse. Several horses were then spotted close to Buckingham Palace, with two of them being taken under control by police in Docklands following a dramatic pursuit. A drone team from the London Fire Brigade was used to help locate the animals.

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.

The horses were all returned to Hyde Park barracks and were undergoing veterinary care, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment later confirmed.

A white horse on the loose bolts through the streets of London near Aldwych. Picture date: Wednesday April 24, 2024.
One of the horses bolts through the streets of London near Aldwych. (PA)
A black horse collides with a London Taxi after bolting down the A4 near Aldwych, central London. Picture date: Wednesday April 24, 2024.
A black horse collides with a London taxi in central London. (PA)

In a video statement posted on X later in the day, Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Matt Woodward said: “Every morning, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in London exercises some 150 horses in the parks and on the roads. This keeps them fit and helps inoculate them to city noise so they’re less easily panicked on parades.

“This morning, however, a small group of horses were spooked by some construction works on a quiet side road in Belgravia where building materials were dropped from height right next to them. The ensuing shock caused all horses to bolt and unseated some riders. Our immediate priority was the safety and wellbeing of our soldiers, members of the public and our horses.

“We would like to express heartfelt gratitude for the swift responses of Met Police, City of London police, the Royal Mews, the London Ambulance Service, the London Fire Brigade and members of the public in reacting as quickly as they did. This enabled swift treatment of our soldiers and helped bring our injured horses to safety."

The commanding officer added: "Thankfully, considering the frequency of exercise and numbers of horses involved, this type of incident is extremely rare, we continue to strive to minimise the risk of this recurring. As ever, we are grateful for due consideration given by the members of the public to not making loud noises around our horses."

During the horses' journey, they were spotted racing into cars, a taxi and a tourist bus, which was left with a smashed windscreen.

An employee for tour bus company Big Bus, named only as Mr Mahmood, said three horses got “out of control” from Buckingham Palace Road.

He said: “One of the horses bumped into a bus, then everything got out of control. I saw two horses without riders gallop away. One rider managed to calm his horse down. An ambulance went to assist another rider who had been injured.”

One of the horses was running through the streets covered in blood, which appears to be a likely injury from a collision with a vehicle.

A bus was seen with a smashed window after a number of horses raced through London colliding with vehicles. (TikTok/DeonEmLondres)
A bus was seen with a smashed window after a number of horses raced through London colliding with vehicles. (TikTok/DeonEmLondres)

Roland, a worker for tour bus company, Toot Bus, said the scene was “total mayhem”. “I saw horses come from the bus station in front of Victoria run around in a frenzy,” he said. “People were running around to avoid them – it was total mayhem.”

Meanwhile, a management consultant from south London who saw two of the horses galloping near Aldwych said the sight was “gruesome” and “like a weird dream”.

The 28-year-old, named only as Tula, told the PA news agency: “People were stopping in the street shocked. The horses were running into fast-moving traffic and seemed terrified. Some unmarked police cars were chasing after them, which didn’t seem to be helping.

“I felt shocked. It was pretty gruesome. Felt like a weird dream.”

A white horse on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych, on Wednesday April 24, 2024. (Jordan Pettitt/PA via AP)
One of the horses came loose during a military exercise. (PA via AP)

Cab driver Sean told BBC Radio London that he saw three horses being pursued. "It sounded like a car crash, one was possibly injured. Maybe that is why there are only two being seen," he said.

"I pulled out of Buckingham Palace Road, one of the riders was on the road on his back being tended to. There was a Mercedes Vito parked outside the Grosvenor Hotel with its side smashed in and covered in blood.

"All the windows were smashed so I am guessing the white horse has hit that running into it."