Firefighters had to rescue two horses instead of one last week after an amorous stallion followed a mare into a river.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue were called to help a mare stuck in the River Avon at Fordingbridge just before 9am on Saturday 13 March.

But while they were planning the rescue the firefighters heard a splash — and saw the mare had company.

“Another horse had joined her in the river so we were now confronted with a mare and an amorous stallion in the water,” said animal rescue specialist Buster Brown.

Crews recovered the mare from the river by placing strops around the horse’s body and dragging her out of the river.

“Fortunately, the stallion wasn’t too pleased being the only one left in the water so after some lengthy coaxing we were able to get hold of him,” Mr Brown added.

“Once this was done crews were able to use the mare to entice him out of the river.

“We walked her along the bank which made the stallion jump out both horses were then handed over to the owner who took them to a secure field. Both were uninjured if a little cold”.