Four injured as 'spooked' army horses bolt through London in rush hour

One of the horses could be seen covered in blood after smashing into a number of vehicles, as ITV News Correspondent John Ray reports

Four people have been injured after runaway military horses - spooked by noise from building work - bolted through London. Three soldiers, a cyclist and horses were hurt and vehicles damaged after chaos broke out during rush hour.

Two horses were seen running in the road near Aldwych, one of which appeared to be covered in blood.

The Ministry of Defence said the horses from the Household Cavalry were being exercised ahead of an inspection due to take place tomorrow in Hyde Park.

During the exercise, the horses were "spooked" by nearby building works. Four soldiers were thrown from their saddles and five horses ran loose through London.

Two horses run through London at rush hour Credit: PA

In a statement 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."

"Three of our soldiers have incurred injuries which are not deemed to be life-threatening and they’re receiving treatment in hospital, while our horses have all returned to Hyde Park barracks and are undergoing veterinary care. "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."

A white horse on the loose bolts through the streets of London Credit: PA

A taxi driver waiting outside the Clermont Hotel in Buckingham Palace Road had the windows of his car smashed after a spooked horse collided with the Mercedes people carrier.

A horse also crashed into a parked double-decker tour bus, smashing the windscreen.

One eyewitness told ITV News he saw five horses running along the street "like crazy", adding: "One of them crashed into the bus - they ran like crazy!

"One guy [was hit] and the ambulance came. One of the horses was white and covered in blood.

"People were scared and ran away."

A white horse covered in blood in central London Credit: PA

Another eyewitness, Daniele Torrisi added: "My colleague heard a bang then I looked outside and saw this horse bleeding and the bus was cracked - so the horse hit the bus.

[The horse] was bleeding quite badly. You could see people around trying to calm him down - he was a bit agitated."

An Army spokesperson said: “A number of military working horses became loose during routine exercise this morning. “All of the horses have now been recovered and returned to camp. A number of personnel and horses have been injured and are receiving the appropriate medical attention.”

Tourist bus damaged after colliding with a horse Credit: Domanic Boban

Pictures and videos of two of the animals running amok around London were shared on social media, one of which showed a black 4×4 with blue lights following two of the animals between Tower Bridge and Limehouse tunnel.

A worker for tour bus company, Big Bus, 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.”

Two horses were captured by officers from the City of London Police.

The force said on X: “At around 8.40am, we were called about horses that had became loose and were travelling through the City. “Our officers have contained two horses on the highway near Limehouse. We’re waiting for an Army horse box to collect the horses and transport them to veterinary care.”

The London Ambulance Service said it was called at 8.25am to reports of a person being thrown from a horse in Buckingham Palace Road.

A black horse collides with a London Taxi Credit: PA

A spokesperson said: "We were called at 8:25am today (April 24) to reports of a person being thrown from a horse on Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W.

“We sent resources to the scene including ambulance crews, a paramedic in a fast response car, and an incident response officer.

“Our first paramedic was on the scene in five minutes.

“We treated a patient at the scene and took them to hospital.”

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