By REBECCA ENGLISH
Behind the foreground rider the horse can be seen as it falls and entangles its legs in the wheels of the gun carriage
Members of the public looked on in horror today as an army horse died on parade during a freak accident in London’s Hyde Park.
The animal, called Murphy, was taking part in the Royal Gun Salute which takes place on June 2 each year to mark the coronation of the Queen.
Soldiers from the King’s Troop were lining up when the horse tripped while galloping and his legs became entangled in the wheels of a gun wagon, which then dragged him across the grass.
Soldiers rush to disentangle the fallen horse
Realising the animal is bady hurt, a soldier dashes off to find expert help
As he fell, Murphy suffered a ‘complex fracture’ of his leg and after being examined by an on-site vet was immediately put down by injection.
Devastated soldiers erected a green tent around the animal to shield onlookers from the distressing scene which took place shortly before mid-day.
An army spokesman told Mail Online: ‘Unfortunately the horse, called Murphy, became entangled in the gun carriage which was being moved into position and very sadly broke its leg.
A soldier looks up as he realises the severity of the animal's injury
Distraught, a horseman buries his face in his hands
'The vet officer in place immediately gave him pain relief but it was a very complex fracture and the only course of action was to put him down by injection. It was really the only course of action.
‘Everyone involved was naturally distressed. Murphy had been with the regiment for a very long time.
‘It was a tragic accident, one of those split second things that happen and he went down straight away.
‘It is very rare, though, that something like his should happen. No-one can remember anything like this happening before.’
n a shot taken from the watching spectators, soldiers from the King's Troop erect a barrier around the horse as a vet gives it a lethal injection
The salute, to mark the 59th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne, was cancelled as a mark of respect.
Horse injury cancels Queen's 41-gun salute