LONDON — Bugle Boy, a 25-year-old cavalry horse on the verge of retirement, collapsed under his rider during Wednesday's royal wedding procession and had to be destroyed.
A veterinarian said Bugle Boy broke his back and could not be saved, the Defense Ministry reported.
The ministry said the bay gelding, a 20-year veteran of royal parades, was appearing at his last state occasion when he stumbled and fell to the pavement at Admiralty Arch, just after Sarah Ferguson had passed through on her way to Westminster Abbey to be married to Prince Andrew.
The rider, Lt. Col. Jim Clavering of the Scots Guards, was unhurt and quickly removed the heavy saddle and ceremonial bridle. Police and soldiers managed to get Bugle Boy to his feet and tried to support him.
But by the time a horse truck arrived with help, Bugle Boy was down. Soldiers surrounded him with a cloth screen to block the view of the crowds and worked for about half an hour to get him up the ramp.
The horse was taken to Wellington Barracks, examined by a veterinarian and found to have a broken back.