Dramatic rescue of horse that fell in icy ditch while sheltering from snow
An elderly horse that became stuck in an icy ditch as she sheltered from the snow under some trees is safe again after a dramatic rescue.
Faye Davis found her 21-year-old mare, Chant, lying cold, covered in mud and helpless in the field in Burrow, Somerset, and called the fire service.
Crews from Burnham-on-Sea and Bridgwater embarked on a complex operation, using ropes, harnesses and machines to free the rugged mare.
“All we can think is she must have slipped and slid into the ditch, which was underneath a hedge and tree branches, and then become completely stuck,” said a distressed Ms Davis.
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“We were really worried that the fire crews would not be able to get her out alive – Chant is very much part of the family having been with us for nine years, so she means a huge amount to us.”
After the thick vegetation surrounding the horse had been cut back, she was fixed into a harness and pulled out using a JCB.
Photographer Catriona Newman said: “The horse was completely still when it was pulled from the ditch, raising fears it had been injured or had died.
“It was a heart-stopping moment when the fire crews released the harness and ropes around her. It all went quiet and then suddenly the mare got up – much to the delight of everyone. We all burst into cheers. It was wonderful to see the relief on the owner’s face.”