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Two horses in a ‘serious condition’ after running loose in central London, minister says

By Jack Guy, CNN

(CNN) — Two Household Cavalry horses which broke free and ran through the streets of London on Wednesday are in a “serious condition,” a British government minister has said.

Six soldiers and seven horses were taking part in an exercise on Wednesday morning when the animals became spooked after some concrete fell off a conveyor belt being used in nearby construction work and hit the ground, according to the British Army.

The army said in an update on X on Thursday that five horses tried to bolt and four broke loose. Three soldiers were injured but are expected to recover fully and return to duty, the army added.

“What I can say is that five horses have been recovered to the army – three of those are fine, but unfortunately two of them are in quite a serious condition and we’ll be continuing to monitor them,” UK defense procurement minister James Cartlidge told local radio station LBC Thursday.

Host Nick Ferrari asked if the pair would “pull through,” to which Cartlidge responded that he “wouldn’t want to speculate,” but the animals were in a “serious condition.”

Cartlidge went on to emphasize that an incident like this is “very exceptional,” adding that the army has horses out on exercise in London every day.

The minister had separately told Sky News that the two horses are called Vida and Quaker.

“Two of the injured horses were operated on last night, with one transferred to an equine hospital,” said the British Army on X Thursday.

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

“We want to thank everyone who has shown such kindness and concern towards our soldiers and horses. We will provide more updates soon,” added the post.

Startling footage emerged on social media on Wednesday showing the two horses – one apparently covered with blood – running through Aldwych in central London.

According to Britain’s PA Media news agency, a Mercedes taxi that was waiting outside the Clermont Hotel on Buckingham Palace Road had its windows smashed by the spooked horses, while one of the animals shattered the windscreen of a double-decker tour bus.

The Household Cavalry acts as the King’s official bodyguard and take part in ceremonial duties. It is based at Hyde Park barracks, a short distance from Buckingham Palace.

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