A police horse bolted around Bow, near Victoria Park in east London on Saturday (1 November) after a firework was let off nearby.

It is thought that the officer fell off after the horse was spooked by the explosion.

A witness, who spotted the horse on the loose, wrote on the website Reddit: “It [the horse] veered across the road and turned right by a Boris Bike stop, and absolutely stacked it — sparks flying everywhere from the hooves.

“It got up, and flew off down Driffield Road.”

escaped police horseIt has been reported that a man from local shop managed to stop the horse before it ended up on a larger road.

A police spokesman confirmed to H&H that they had been called just before 5pm on Saturday after the horse was found by a member of public at the Driffield Road junction with Roman Road.

“The horse and mounted branch officer were quickly reunited,” the spokesman added. “Neither had any injuries and both continued with scheduled duties.”

Established force

The mounted branch of the Metropolitan Police was started in the 1760s and still plays an important role in modern law enforcement.

The main responsibilities of the branch are to conduct safe policing of football matches and crowd control at other large public order events.

Despite the dangerous situations, research has shown that police horses cope well with the pressure.

A recent study conducted on horses for three years in the Netherlands concluded that police horses are less stressed than an elite sport horse being pushed to win in competition.

See them in action

The Metropolitan mounted branch will be demonstrating again at Olympia Horse Show this Christmas (16-22 December) after a five-year break.

The group had to temporarily stop their display — which includes the horses jumping through rings of fire and solid paper rings — in order to concentrate on their duties for the 2012 Olympics.