A mare suffered a freezing ordeal after becoming stuck in a ditch underneath a fallen tree for several hours last week.

The 11-year-old bay was found trapped in her field off Abingdon Road, Oxford, on Friday (2 March).

She was suffering from exhaustion having been trying to free herself from the snow-covered dyke.

It is unknown how the mare found herself in this predicament.

Firefighters from Oxford and Kidlington were called to the field at 2.30pm and with the assistance of a vet, worked to free the horse.

Using saws, crews removed sections of the tree to enable the vet to assess the mare and sedate her.

The team then attached strops around her body to pull her from the ditch before assisting her to her feet.

“She had managed to get stuck in an awkward position and was suffering from the effects of cold and exhaustion,” said a spokesman from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“Our crews worked with the vet on site to carefully free the horse and help her to her feet. We are glad to report that the she suffered no serious injuries and was left in the care of the owner.”

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It took three hours to free the mare, who was left with cuts but was otherwise unharmed.

“This was a large horse that had got itself stuck in an awkward position and in this case the owners recognised the risk and called upon the emergency services to assist,” added station manager Chris Barber.

“Persistent effort from the fire crews involved and the vet, who had travelled out in difficult weather conditions, resulted in a safe and successful rescue.”