Horses crash into designer clothes shop window near Royal Ascot
A witness said that the animals may have been spooked by the sound of a horn.
Horses have crashed into the window of a designer clothes shop in Ascot, just a short walk away from the racecourse.
A section of the front window of Nataliya Couture on London Road was smashed after the incident on Thursday evening which is said to have involved four horses and a carriage.
Shards of glass and manure remained on the pavement within a police tape outside the shop which was not opened when the crash happened.
Blood also appeared to be visible on a section of the smashed front, while glass was lying around the mannequin displays and a shutter at the back of the space was buckled.
A policeman at the scene said he understood the incident involved four horses, while a taxi driver who saw it happen said one horse looked particularly injured.
Taxi driver Mohamad Amjad said it appeared that the carriage was coming down the road and potentially was panicked by a horn blowing.
He said it seemed to be the case that the front two horses “slid” into the shop front, adding that one horse appeared badly injured.
“People put towels on to try to control the blood,” he said.
Eyewitness Gary Copeland was driving behind the four-horse carriage when he saw the driver lose control and go careering down the road with guests dressed for the races clinging on.
He said: “I was driving past the race course when the carriage was let out in front of me, I was right behind it and then another car slotted in between me and it.
“The horses must have bolted and went off straight down the high street. The driver had clearly lost control.”
He said that one of the horses slipped over as the carriage charged round a mini roundabout, knocking over one of its teammates and sending it sliding into a glass shop front.
“The horse ended up going straight off the pavement and into the glass front of a big clothing shop,” he said.
“At least one of the horses was jammed into the window.”
Mr Copeland, 52, said the accident happened at around 6pm on Thursday evening as racegoers left at the end of the day.
“I think the people in the carriage were in some sort of VIP section at the race course.
You could see they knew something was wrong and I’m amazed it was going so quickly, it was just completely out of control Gary Copeland, eyewitness
“They were dressed really well, the men were all in morning suits and the ladies were very elegantly dressed.
“You could see they knew something was wrong and I’m amazed it was going so quickly, it was just completely out of control.”
Mr Copeland said police descended on the scene immediately and told motorists to stay in their cars, and he saw people comforting two horses standing at the side of the road that had broken free from their harness.
He could not see the injured horse because it was hidden by the carriage, which had remained upright despite the accident, and by a wall of police.
“I saw some women try to approach and help then they just stopped dead, they looked really shocked.”
There were white marks on the road and pavement going towards the section of the front that got smashed.
It is not thought that anyone was injured in the incident which took place on Thursday evening at a time when racegoers were leaving Royal Ascot.
The shop sells formal wear, including fascinators, like the style showcased by women on Ladies’ Day.