Trooping the Colour warning issued as Household Cavalry horses must miss service | Royal | News

An animal charity has issued a warning about the risks of allowing Household Cavalry horses to participate in the upcoming Trooping the Colour this week.

Among the horses due to attend the parade through Whitehall are three mounts that bolted after being frightened by building works while on extended exercises in Belgravia in April.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has argued that allowing the horses to perform surrounded by the “noisy, unpredictable crowds” of Trooping the Colour could be a danger to them and the public.

Peta insisted all five horses involved in April’s incident, two of which are still recovering, should be retired and not made to return to active service for the King’s official birthday on June 15.

The animal charity wrote to the regiment’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mathew Woodward, to express its concern about the parade.

The warning comes mere days after the British Army confirmed the three horses – Tennyson, Trojan and Vanquish – were already back on duty “against all expectations” and that they are “looking likely to take part” in the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

The ceremony traditionally involves a large crowd of military personnel and guns, and PETA has argued the situation could once again frighten the horses involved.

Peta senior campaign manager Kate Werner wrote: “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 charity also lamented the ongoing use of horses by the military, slamming the anachronistic practice as unnecessary.

She added: “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.”

Around 200 horses are expected to take part in this year’s Trooping the Colour. The Irish Guards’ official mascot, an “extremely large” Irish wolfhound, is also due to take part.

In a statement detailing plans for the ceremony, the British Army said: “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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