20 horsepower

It could only happen in London.

The morning traffic along Kensington High Street grinds to a standstill as the King's Troop parade 20 horses along the road!

I stopped to let them turn into the street (they were coming down from Notting Hill) and the sound of the hooves clip clopping on the tarmac was lovely. They looked gorgeous too — a grand mix of white horses and bay horses, all clean and shiny and expertly groomed.

They were riding two-abreast, with two mounted soldiers up front and two mounted soldiers at the rear and eight soldiers in the middle. The eight soldiers were mounted on gorgeous big horses, but they were holding the reins of a second (unmounted) horse that trotted along beside them.

It's a dual carriageway along here, and they took up the right lane. The traffic in the left lane comprised me, two other cyclists and a motorbike. At the traffic lights at the intersection with Kensington Church Street we all stood lined up together — cyclists, motorbike and 20 horses!! — waiting for the green light.

The motorcyclist exchanged friendly words with the two soldiers up front. I have no idea what was said but there was lots of laughter, followed by one of the soldier's retorting "Yes, but I have 20 horsepower!" An invitation was then extended for the motorcyclist to abandon his bike and get up on the back of one of the horses.

Maybe you had to be there, but it was funny at the time. I'm now kicking myself I didn't take my camera — it would have made a cracking photograph!

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One thought on “20 horsepower

  1. For a couple of months a dozen or so years ago, we lived in Blackheath, while my wife worked on Oxford street and I in High Wycombe. It was always the highlight of the week to meet these guys somewhere along the early o’clock drive across town. Thanks for sharing this, which made me feel almost young again!

    Like

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