PETA Urges Cavalry to Retire Spooked Horses Ahead of Trooping the Colour

PETA Urges Cavalry to Retire Spooked Horses Ahead of Trooping the Colour

London – After learning that at least three of the five Household Cavalry horses who were injured in April when they ran amok during a training exercise in Central London will likely perform in the king’s birthday parade later this month, PETA fired off an urgent letter to Mathew Woodward, lieutenant colonel of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, calling for all five horses to be retired from service.

On 24 April during an army training exercise, five horses bolted through the streets of London after being distressed by construction workers, and two of them were seriously injured when they collided with traffic. They have since spent time recovering in the Chilterns in open pasture – an environment where they belong – and they have been filmed relishing their freedom.

“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,” writes PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner.

The letter (available here) notes that horses are prey animals – meaning they have a strong natural flight instinct – and that it can never be guaranteed they won’t react while “on duty”. Incidents involving military horses are not uncommon: last year at the king’s coronation, a horse bolted from the procession and crashed into the crowd, injuring at least one police officer.

“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,” concludes Werner.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, X, TikTok, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]