King’s Troop horses ran amok in Charlton this morning, causing injuries and a flood of emergency services to descend on Charlton Village.
Service personnel were hurt and an eyewitness at the scene told The Charlton Champion that one horse was taken away injured after the incident at about 10am. Other service personnel were said to be looking shaken.
One horse made it as far as Charlton Park Lane before being retrieved, hoof prints were left round Charlton Park.
It is understood the horses broke free after a motorist sounded a car horn behind them at about 10am. Ambulances were on the scene outside Charlton House for about an hour. An air ambulance arrived but left without taking a patient on board.
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which is based at Woolwich Barracks, performs ceremonial duties at state occasions. It moved to the area in 2012 and the horses can regularly be seen being exercised in the neighbourhood, although training has been reduced to a minimum during the pandemic.
In February 2017, a soldier broke her neck trying to stop a gun carriage and runaway horses on exercises in Charlton Park.
An eyewitness, Anne James, had just driven through Charlton Village when she saw “a stream of horses rushing towards me”. She called an ambulance after seeing a rider fall from her horse.
“I could see that they were army horses and assumed they were running blindly because something had upset them – the clattering of their hooves at speed made quite a noise,” she told The Charlton Champion.
“Each rider led a second horse, and things were clearly out of control. There were at least a dozen horses, and some of them were slipping and sliding on the tarmac. They ran in front of my car and across the pavement, where they jumped a small wall then the boundary fence at the front of Charlton House.
“As I watched them head off across the grass, I saw one rider fall to the pavement – she held on to the reins and was dragged for a few seconds, but then let go and curled into a ball to protect herself from the horses that were still hurtling past her.”
An Army spokesperson told The Charlton Champion: “We can confirm a number of military personnel and horses from the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery were injured whilst training this morning.
“The injured personnel are receiving medical treatment and the horses are being assessed. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
Update: Six people were taken to hospital, MyLondon.news reported.
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