Injuries after King’s Troop horses run amok in Charlton Park

Charlton House air ambulance
The air ambulance landed outside Charlton House at 10.20am (Photo: Steve Hunnisett/charltonchampion.co.uk)

King’s Troop horses ran amok in Charlton this morning, causing injuries and a flood of emergency services to descend on Charlton Village.

King's Troop incident
Photo: Steve Hunnisett/charltonchampion.co.uk

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.

One person was being treated outside Charlton House. Photo: Steve Hunnisett/charltonchampion.co.uk

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.

Hoof prints can be seen all over Charlton Park (photo: Steve Hunnisett/charltonchampion.co.uk)

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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King’s Troop Annual Inspection moves from Regent’s Park to Charlton Park

King's Troop rehearsal - pic by Rob Powell
King's Troop rehearsal - pic by Rob Powell
King's Troop rehearsal - pic by Rob Powell

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will receive their Annual Inspection in Charlton on Tuesday morning. Rob Powell, who took the photos above, explains more.

In previous years the event has taken place in Regent’s Park, close to their previous St John’s Wood home, but this year’s inspection will take place in Charlton Park,  a stone’s throw from the base in Woolwich they moved to in February 2012.

They have been using a section of the park close to Cemetery Lane for practice since London 2012 took over parts of Woolwich Common, although a notice on Greenwich Council’s website continues to say they’d be using Charlton Park only up until the summer of 2014.

Two rehearsals of the Troop’s famous Musical Drive took place in the park last week, with the Royal Artillery Band returning to Greenwich borough after their 200-year association with Woolwich ended last February.

Unless the arrival of a new royal baby requires the King’s Troop RHA to be peforming a gun salute elsewhere, the Annual Inspection will take place on Tuesday morning at 10am.