A 17-year-old horse was rescued by firefighters last Friday (13 June) after getting stuck in a cattle grid in Hampshire.

At 1.29am on Friday morning the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service received a 999 call reporting that George, a 17hh Irish draught/thoroughbred, was trapped in the cattle grid in Hale Purlieu, Fordingbridge.

Animal rescue specialist Jim Green from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The owner was woken by a clanging noise and went out to find George trapped in a cattle grid.

“The horse had actually lifted a section of the four piece grid and was lying on his side on the ground. Fortunately his owners are equine vets and were able to anaesthetise him early on and call the fire and rescue service.”

Hydraulic spreaders were used to prise apart the cattle grid and release George. But once the anaesthetic had worn off it was clear the horse could not stand on his own so the crew used lifting strops and an equine harness to hoist him up, helped by a crane.

Jim added: “We decided to lift George because he had been through some considerable trauma and was unable to stand on his own. This is a dangerous activity and provided an ideal opportunity to test our new quick release harness.”

George is now back to his stable and expected to make a full recovery.