Queen`s salute cancelled after Army horse put down: Report

Murphy, an Army horse was taking part in Royal Gun Queen`s salute.

Updated: Jun 04, 2011, 00:06 AM IST

London: In a tragic incident at the Queen`s salute, an Army horse was reportedly put down in front of a shocked crowd after being run over by a gun carriage in London`s Hyde Park.

As a mark of respect to the horse, called Murphy, the Royal Gun Salute -- which takes place on June 02 each year to mark the coronation of the British Queen -- was cancelled, the `Daily Mail` reported.

Murphy was taking part in Royal Gun Salute. Soldiers from the King`s Troop were lining up when he tripped while galloping and his legs got entangled in wheels of a gun wagon which then dragged him across the grass.

Murphy suffered a "complex fracture" of his leg as he fell, and after being examined by a veterinarian, he was immediately put down by a lethal injection. 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 the British newspaper: "Unfortunately the horse, called Murphy, became entangled in the gun carriage which was being moved into position and very sadly broke its leg.”

"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."