Horse and rider both doing well after unexpected celebrity OOPS parade route fall?
What good is a months-anticipated Royal Wedding without at least one big public gaffe? In 1837, the Archbishop of Canterbury dropped Queen Victoria’s Orb and put the coronation ring on the wrong finger of William IV. Now famously captured in the Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech, George VI hired a speech therapist to ensure he wouldn’t slip up during his coronation oath radio broadcast. Even Charles and Diana had some royal wedding vow flubs. And on April 29, 2011, a horse following Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, bucked its rider and bolted down Whitehall, according to ABC reports.
Unlike other royal wedding mishaps, the runaway horse escapade quickly was captured on camera and film, and the internet has made sure the news is neither missed nor forgotten. The rider tried to pull the horse, one of Prince Harry’s Blues and Royals, to the side after it stumbled, but the horse was too strong and continued to gallop frantically down Whitehall. Kate Middleton blanched (as she’s allergic to horses) but Prince William calmly reassured her as the horse overtook their carriage on its way — to where else — home to the Horse Guards’ Barracks further up Whitehall, according to The Daily Mail.
Neither the rider nor the horse was injured. Police warned spectators to cover their faces with their arms in case the horse decided to stampede into the crowd, but luckily nothing more happened than a simple gallop down the street for the frightened animal.
People magazine reports:
“It was just a complete accident,” a source tells PEOPLE. “They were trotting ’round a corner and because they were on the outside, his horse had to be moving at a fast pace and this led to it losing its footing as it went ’round the corner.”
Rebecca Sweat, from PetPlace.com, describes how and why a horse may get “spooked” and how to calm the horse and keep control.
She says horses are prey animals, and their instinct is to run if something changes suddenly in their environment, like tripping among a crowd of thousands of people, which is what happened at the royal wedding. Sweat says the way to calm the horse down is to direct its attention to the ground and to avoid leading it to somewhere it doesn’t want to go. [Unfortunately the rider was trying to lead his closer to the crowd, to get out of the way of the parade.]
Other tricks include remaining calm as the rider.
The horse will sense a rider’s tension and is more likely to spook if the rider is nervous, which certainly happened in the case of the royal wedding.
But for all concerned, the spooked horse and rider are doing well, and there are no hard feelings.
It’s rather amazing that these majestic animals can keep such composure among a throng of people who are considerably more excited. Maybe in lieu of gifts to Prince William and Kate Middleton, well-wishers can send the fallen horse a bucket of carrots for holding up so well.