A horse has been rescued from a swimming pool by firefighters.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to a farm in Godshill at 10am on Sunday, where the 15hh gelding had wandered on to the plastic covering of a neighbour’s pool and fallen in.

The four-year-old New Forest-cross, “Mischief”, was sedated by a vet to enable the 12 firefighters to carry out the rescue.

And Sarah Boyd, mother of Mischief’s breeder Charlotte Boyd, kept the horse calm for the two hours he was in the pool.

“He panicked in the deep end, but once we coaxed him to the shallow end, where he could stand and chomp on some food, he was brilliant,” said Mrs Boyd, who saw the horse escape from the paddock and fall into the pool.

“He grew up on water meadows and is used to walking over tarpaulin as part of his natural horsemanship training.

“He was freezing when he got out, but has been well rugged up and is trotting around the field today,” she added. “He just has a small cut on his back leg.”

Watch manager Jim Green, who heads up Hampshire Fire and Rescue’s animal rescue team said: “Today’s incident is another example that demonstrates the importance of good partnership between the fire service and veterinary experts in ensuring the safe rescue of distressed animals.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has a team of four animal rescue specialists, and is leading the way in animal rescue work in the UK.

They are involved in education and development of new rescue techniques as well as promoting animal welfare.