The Queen’s drum horse, an animal usually revered for its calm and unflappable temperament, surprised onlookers at the 125th anniversary Shire Horse Show when it took fright and bolted throwing its rider.

Talavera, a young part-bred Shire mare, who has recently completed her basic training with the Household Cavalry, is used to carry the heavy ceremonial drums and a bandsman. She was being led around the collecting ring at the East of England Showground as part of a display when she bolted after being spooked.

Her leader was unable to hold her and the packed audience watched in shock as she careered into the main arena depositing her rider in the process.

Talavera ran out of the main arena and fell over, allowing stewards to come toher rescue. No spectators were injured in the incident. The mare suffered a few scrapes and was checked over by a vet before being led back to the stabling area.

An ambulance was called to attend to the bandsman, but he too was unhurt in the incident.

A spokesperson from the Shire Horse Society, who host the record breaking two-day show at the East of England Showground, said: “It’s rare for an incident like this to happen. We work very hard on safety and put a lot of thought and effort into barriers and stewarding. We have many experienced horsemen on hand at an event like this and as soon as Talavera was caught, she was checked over by a vet and returned to the stables unharmed.

“The fact we had an incident and no one was hurt is testament to that, but it certainly added extra drama to the show day.”