Army reveals what roles Cavalry horses who ran through streets of London will play at Trooping the Colour

The British Army has revealed what the roles the escaped Household Cavalry horses will be playing at this year’s Trooping the Colour.

Following professional assessment, Tennyson, “who was not badly injured”, will be taking part in the King’s birthday parade and “Trojan and Vanquish will have supporting roles with the King’s Life Guard but will not be on the parade itself”, The Independent can reveal.

Two of the horses who were more badly injured, Vida and Quaker, will continue their recovery in the countryside.

The revealation comes after an an animal rights charity warned against their participation in the parade, claming “noisy, unpredictable crowds” would be a danger to the public and the horses.

Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have called for the five horses injured in the panic to be retired from duty and not made to return for the King’s Birthday parade in a letter to the regiment’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mathew Woodward.

The warning comes days after the British Army said three of the injured horses – Trojan, Tennyson, and Vanquish – are already back on duty and “against all expectations, are looking likely to take part” in the annual parade on 15 June.

The other two horses – Vida and Quaker – are also expected to return to work in due course.

However, as Trooping the Colour is a large-scale military event involving guns and soldiers, PETA have argued that the horses should not participate and all five of them should be retired permanently.

Dramatic scenes unfolded when the horses were spooked by noise from a nearby building site in April, which prompted them to throw off their riders and gallop through London, injuring themselves and various pedestrians in the process.

This prompted widespread public concern for their welfare, despite experts insisting that such incidents are rare.

The animal rights group is now arguing that should the horses participate in Trooping the Colour, they could be a danger to themselves and other people.

Kate Werner, PETA’s senior campaigns manager, wrote to Lieutenant Colonel Mathew Woodward: “Clearly, these horses are easily agitated and sensitive to noise.

“Forcing them to perform at a crowded event marked by drums and a 41-gun salute would place them and the public at risk.

“The whole world was rightly shocked to see images of scared, blood-soaked horses running through the streets of London after getting spooked during April’s failed exercise.”

The group also took the opportunity to argue that the military’s continued use of horses is no longer a necessity in the modern world.

“Tradition is never an excuse for animal suffering, and each horse deserves to live free from the stress they endure when paraded through a busy, loud capital city with a human on their back, all for the amusement of noisy, unpredictable crowds,” the letter added.

As revealed by the army themselves, over 200 horses will take part in this weekend’s event as well as one “extremely large dog” – an Irish wolfhound who is the official mascot of the Irish Guards.

While the King typically rides on a horse too, because of his ongoing cancer treatment, he will inspect the soldiers from a carriage this year instead.

The army said in a statement: “After weeks of gruelling rehearsal and painstaking preparation, two hundred and fifty musicians, twenty pipers, two hundred and forty military working horses, an extremely large dog, and almost a thousand dual role soldiers of the British Army’s Household Division will deliver a magnificent spectacle for The King, the Nation, and the World in London on Saturday 15 June.

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