Joy as Army horses and riders injured in London make ‘remarkable’ recoveries

  • The five military working horses who were injured after running loose through London in April are “recovering with remarkable speed”, as are their riders.

    An update from the Army today (4 June) said that three of the horses are now back on duty and “against all expectations” are looking likely to take part in The King’s Birthday Parade (15 June). The other two are continuing to recuperate in the countryside at The Horse Trust.

    Commanding officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) lieutenant colonel Mathew Woodward said that is is “very likely” that Trojan, Tennyson and Vanquish will participate in Trooping the Colour this month.

    “The remaining two, Vida and Quaker, are enjoying a summer holiday in the Chilterns thanks to The Horse Trust,” he said.

    “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.”

    On 24 April, the horses were out on morning exercise in Belgravia when they spooked by construction rubble being dropped through a plastic tunnel. The horses were seen galloping through the streets, as police and the Army worked together to catch them.

    Jeanette Allen, chief executive at The Horse Trust, said that 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,” she said.

    “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.”

    Today’s statement from the Army added that the horses’ “remarkable recovery is thanks in no small part to the excellent in-house care they’ve received from the Army’s own dedicated veterinary surgeons and the amazing specialist support provided by The Horse Trust”.

    The statements said that all injured soldiers and horses received expert emergency care immediately after the incident, and the horses were then put under constant supervision by Army vets.

    Once Trojan, Tennyson and Vanquish were well enough to travel, they were sent for respite at The Horse Trust. After careful assessment, they were found fit to return to London and were collected on 29 May.

    “The Horse Trust understands the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle for animals to prevent sickness and injury. Returning to work can help facilitate this lifestyle for the horses, ensuring they remain fit, healthy and enjoy long and fulfilling lives,” said the statement.

    “On the same day that Trojan, Tennyson, and Vanquish left the Chilterns to return to Hyde Park Barracks, Vida and Quaker – the two most severely injured horses – were pronounced fit to travel and arrived at The Horse Trust for their respite care, having been discharged from veterinary care in London.

    “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, the Cavalry Grey, 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.

    “The horses will remain with The Horse Trust for as long as they need before being assessed for their suitability to return to work. Onsite veterinary care is available 24/7 to provide any necessary treatment during their stay.

    “The long-standing relationship between The Horse Trust and HCMR provides for the perfect support as the military working horses unwind and relax in the Chilterns.”

    The statement 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, and would like to thank everyone that expressed their concern and best wishes for a speedy recovery – they look to have been granted!”

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