Firefighters and RSPCA officers battled for five hours to rescue a horse stuck in a stream.

A passer-by alerted the RSPCA after spotting the black and white cob in the water off Stratford Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire on Saturday (26 September) afternoon.

The horse was shivering and was standing in heavy weeds.

The stream was about three feet deep with steep sides, when RSPCA officer Kim Lawrence arrived.

Although she was not injured, the horse was very cold and stiff and would not walk to a lower bank about 150 feet away to climb out.

Inspector Lawrence contacted Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, which sent a retained crew from Sandy to assist.

Vet Rosie Barker from Berry House Veterinary Surgery also attended.

After the animal’s initial struggles and her trying to run off, the team was able to fit a strap under the her belly and attach her to a manual winch.

Ms Barker treated her for shock and hypothermia and after 20 minutes she managed to stand.

She joined the other 15 horses in the field and inspector Lawrence checked on her on Sunday, by which time she was looking healthy and happy again.

Inspector Lawrence said: “This just seems to have been an accident where the horse managed to get through a fence and into the stream.

“It was hard work, but a great team effort. The fire service and vet were fantastic and I’d also like to thank the members of the public, including my husband, who held torches and provided feed and blankets for the horse.”