An elderly Shire horse has been saved from what firefighters say was “certain death”, after getting stuck in a pond.

The 27-year-old horse was found up to his neck in the water at a farm in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, at 9am on 29 August.

“Jeremy”, who weighs a ton, was unable to free himself.

Firefighters from the Water Incident Unit at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service worked alongside the RSPCA to free Jeremy.

His owners, Jenny and Jayen Renshaw and best friend – a donkey called Misty – watched the rescue.

“It was a close call; the vet gave him a lot of stuff to calm him down,” said Mr Renshaw.

“Misty was standing there with him. I think she had to turn away at times! They’re like Little and Large – they’re best buddies,” she added.

Jeremy was hauled to safety after three hours.

Station Manager, Kevin O’Connor, said: “He was up to his neck in water and suffering from hypothermia.

“He kept trying to spin in the water; every time we got ready to pull him up, he would turn round. He was very close to dying, but the donkey never left his side.”

Mrs Renshaw revealed that it was not the first time Jeremy had been rescued by firefighters.

She said: “Many years ago he went in the canal and the fire brigade was involved in getting him out, too.”