Army issues heartwarming update on Household Cavalry horses who ran through streets of London covered in blood

4 June 2024, 17:55 | Updated: 4 June 2024, 18:34

Vida and Quaker are enjoying a summer holiday in the Chilterns
Vida and Quaker are recovering after they were photographed running loose through the streets of London earlier this year. Picture: Army

By Flaminia Luck

The army has issued a heartwarming update on two Household Cavalry horses that were seriously injured during a rampage through the streets of London earlier this year.

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Vida and Quaker were photographed galloping through the capital in April covered in blood, prompting concern for their health.

The pair have now made a "remarkable physical recovery" and are enjoying a summer holiday recuperating at the Horse's Trust in the Chilterns.

However, they will return to work at some point in due course once recovered, the army confirmed.

Vida and Quaker are now enjoying a summer holiday in thre Chilterns
Vida and Quaker are now enjoying a summer holiday in thre Chilterns. Picture: Army

Quaker, a Cavalry black, and a grey called Vida were among a group of horses that were spooked by builders last Wednesday.

They were on an extended exercise in Belgravia with five other horses and six soldiers from the Household Cavalry when they bolted off through the streets of London.

Three other horses - named Trojan, Tennyson and Vanquish - were injured in the incident but are now back on duty and are likely to take part in the King’s Birthday Parade on 15th June.

Three of the injured soldiers are back on duty and two are also expected to make a full return to service.

Quaker (Black, left) and Vida (grey) on the loose bolting through the streets of London near Aldwych
Quaker (Black, left) and Vida (grey) on the loose bolting through the streets of London near Aldwych. Picture: Alamy

An army spokesperson said Vida and Quaker have made a remarkable physical recovery and showed great enthusiasm and joy upon their arrival at The Horse Trust, galloping into fresh pastures.

"Vida wasted no time in turning from white to brown as he rolled in the grass.

"The horses appeared bright and in good spirits, clearly displaying a close bond with each other and the soldiers who accompanied them."

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'Relaxing break'

Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive Officer at The Horse Trust: "It has been a privilege to provide these wonderful horses with the space and time needed to fully recover.

"It’s been so lovely to see Trojan, Tennyson and Vanquish enjoying such a relaxing break and now we have Vida and Quaker already loving their time here.

All five horses are much younger than our regular Service residents and seeing them running, rolling and generally having fun after such a challenging experience, is a real joy.”

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Quaker was one of the most severely injured horses, but is said to be recovering well. Picture: Army

Lieutenant Colonel Mathew Woodward, Commanding Officer HCMR: “All five of the horses injured during the incident on 24th April are recovering with remarkable speed and it is very likely that Trojan, Tennyson and Vanquish will participate in the King's Birthday Parade later this month.

The remaining two, Vida and Quaker, are enjoying a summer holiday in the Chilterns thanks to The Horse Trust. They are expected to make a full recovery and we look forward to seeing them back on duty in due course.

Of the two most seriously injured soldiers, one is continuing his recovery at home and the other at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Stanford Hall.

They are both considered likely to return to military service in the fullness of time.”

A spokesperson added both the Army and The Horse Trust have been overwhelmed by the amount of public care and interest in the recovery of the soldiers and horses affected by the incident.

They added they would like to thank everyone that expressed their concern and best wishes for a "speedy recovery".

Vida is recovering in the Chilterns. Picture: Army

LBC was previously told by a whistleblower that the horses at Hyde Park Barracks are sometimes kept in “horrible” conditions.

Kate - which is an alias - worked with those same horses at the barracks for two years, before leaving just a few months ago.

She said she raised concerns about the welfare of the animals as well as the conditions they are kept in.

“Those horses are so nervous. They are ready to explode. I don’t think it’s a healthy environment. It doesn’t provide what a horse needs, and space,” she said.

Kate also explained that she saw rats roaming around where the horses are kept, loose cables, and said that they were often given “dirty water” - which volunteers believe caused the horses to become sick.

Concern was also raised that the horses were “kept in stalls, and not always loose boxes”, which Kate says gave them “very little possibility to move during the day”.

The whistleblower told LBC it meant they would sometimes “only have exercise for an hour a day, and very little sunlight, often stuck inside”.

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