Five military horses bolted during routine exercises near King Charles III’s main residence in London on Wednesday and ran loose through the centre of the city, injuring at least four people and colliding with vehicles during the morning rush hour.

Chaos erupted when the horses, which were conducting an extended exercise to practise for a major upcoming military parade, became alarmed by construction noise from a nearby building. Five of the seven horses ran off from where the exercise was taking place in Belgravia, a swanky neighbourhood just to the west of Buckingham Palace.

Four soldiers were thrown off, and three of them were taken to the hospital with injuries.

Five of the seven horses ran off from where the exercise was taking place in Belgravia. (AP)
Four soldiers were thrown off, and three of them were taken to the hospital with injuries. (AP)

The riderless horses then galloped down main roads in central London, running into vehicles and stunning commuters as they headed to work. The horses were all captured shortly after and are undergoing medical tests.

Pictures and videos shared widely across social media showed two of the horses running at speed down Aldwych, in between London’s historic financial centre and the busy West End theatre district.

One of the horses had its front covered by what appeared to be blood or red paint. The Army has not yet confirmed whether it was blood or what caused the injury.

Megan Morra, who was on her way to work, told the BBC that she saw one of the horses had a head injury.

A taxi waiting near Buckingham Palace appeared to have a car window smashed by a spooked horse. (AP)

“There was a lot of blood,” she said. “I was a bit distressed to be honest, looking at the poor horse.”

A taxi waiting near Buckingham Palace appeared to have a car window smashed by a spooked horse, while a parked double-decker tour bus had its windshield damaged.

The horses are from the Household Cavalry, the ceremonial guard of the monarch and a regular feature of state functions in London.

The London Ambulance Service said it treated four people. (AP)

“All of the horses have now been recovered and returned to camp,” an Army spokesperson said. “A number of personnel and horses have been injured and are receiving the appropriate medical attention.”

The London Ambulance Service said it treated four people across three separate incidents in the space of 10 minutes after the horses ran amok around 8.30am.

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