Firefighters faced an unusual challenge earlier this week when called to help a horse who was stuck straddled across a narrow bridge, with legs dangling on either side.

A man spotted the horse was in trouble while walking his dog in fields off Park Mill Drive in Alfreton yesterday morning (27 September).

A vet, RSPCA officers and a large animal rescue crew from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service worked together to rescue the mare from her predicament on the concrete footbridge.

bridge rescue“There is a narrow concrete bridge which runs over a stream and the horse must have slipped while walking across it,” said Simon Parker, the RSPCA’s chief inspector for Derbyshire.

All four of her legs were stuck down the sides of the bridge – three over one side and one on the other side. She was in quite a pickle.”

The horse was not microchipped and the RSPCA is urging the owner to come forward and to ensure the bridge is properly blocked off.

“A local vet came down and gave the horse anaesthetic so that we would be able to rescue her promptly,” added inspector Parker.

We were very concerned that she might have broken her legs after the fall.

“She was thoroughly examined after being carefully freed, and thankfully she had not sustained any serious injuries.

“Her legs had been left bleeding after the incident and this was treated by the vet at the scene.”

An RSPCA officer remained after the vet and fire crews left to ensure the horse was alright.


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“We’re pleased to say that she seems to have recovered well from the ordeal,” said inspector Parker.

“She will be a bit sore for a couple of days but she has had a lucky escape.

“Overall it was a successful rescue – the specialist animal rescue team from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service were absolutely fantastic.”