Fire-fighters saved an elderly horse from an uncertain end last week when she was found wedged on her back between a newly built wall and freshly dug footing in her field in west Yorkshire last week (1 May).

No one knew exactly how long Maytell, a 20-year-old mare, had been stuck for, but her owner Jacqui Hanson told the regional news site icHuddersfield.co.uk it could have been hours. Jacqui had last seen Maytell earlier that morning grazing in her field off Windmill Lane in Cumberworth.

By the time the fire crew from Holmfirth fire station arrived at around 7pm, a vet was already in attendance. They decided the best course of action was to attach a rope to Maytell’s headcollar and rug, and drag her out of the ditch to a point where she could then right herself.

Holmfirth station commander Rob Hamilton said: “Because of how the horse was trapped, it wasn’t possible to get a sling around her but luckily she was wearing a rug and headcollar so we could attach the ropes to them.

“We then used a portable hand winch attached to a tractor to drag the mare out of the ditch which we had lined with plastic sheeting to help her slide.”

It took the crew of seven around half an hour to free Maytell, who eventually struggled to her feet covered in mud.

“We had recently had a lot of rain so the ditch was very muddy and this really helped us to move the horse along,” said Rob.

“I saw the horse as we were leaving and she appeared none the worse for her ordeal. This type of rescue was a first for me, as I have a city background, but the other fire-fighters told me that in this rural area large animal rescues aren’t uncommon.”