A Shire horse that bolted through York city centre in May, forcing frightened shoppers to jump to safety, has been retired.

Council licensing bosses decided yesterday (13 July) that Henry was no longer up to taking passengers on sightseeing trips through the city’s streets, after more than a decade.

An investigation was launched after the incident on 23 May, in which the driver was thrown off when the carriage hit a bollard near York Minster.

The horse ran on through a busy shopping area before being caught by a member of the public.

Council licensing manager John Lacy told a local newspaper: “Following this investigation, it was concluded by everyone, including the owner of the horse, that it would be within the best interests for Henry to retire.”

Speculation that the horse was spooked by a car backfiring or children popping balloons was discounted.

Instead, it appeared that the harness had snapped and wrapped around the animal’s leg, causing it to panic and bolt.

He said the carriage driver, who suffered a fractured hip, was recovering at home.