A one-eyed horse has been rescued from a river in Ringley, Greater Manchester.

21-year-old Ruby fell into the River Irwell last Monday (31 March) while being led by her owner, Karen Haslam, who fought to keep the mare’s head above water.

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Initially, firefighters based at Whitefield fire station were called to the scene and tried to pull Ruby out, but they needed help from colleagues based at nearby Heywood fire station, who had a water aid unit.

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After an hour, Ruby was pulled to safety. More back up was required to get her off the riverbank.

Ruby, who stayed calm throughout, lost an eye to illness in her younger years. She since been checked over by a vet and has not suffered a lasting injury.

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Miss Haslam said: “I am so relieved that it all turned out okay and I would like to sing the fire service’s praises.

“All the firefighters did a really good job on what has been a stressful afternoon. Ruby kept so calm and coped brilliantly with the shock of being in the river.”

A fire service spokesman said: “It took 10 firefighters to pull Ruby out of the water.

“Fortunately for us, the horse kept very calm throughout, which helped with the rescue attempt.

“It is just a freak accident that we, thankfully, don’t deal with very often but it turned out well.”