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An inquisitive pony got more than he bargained for recently when he became trapped in a circular metal hay container, normally used for feeding cattle, in a field in Westbourne, Hampshire.

Firefighters were called to rescue the pony that had become stuck “like a hamster in a wheel,” according to leading firefighter Marvin Smith of Red Watch, Chichister, who was involved in the rescue operation.

“The pony had moved the container down the hill about 50m, and the feeder ended up lying on its side. He had his head through the rails and his legs trapped underneath,” Marvin explained.

A vet and a specialist animal rescue team were called and it took their combined effort to free the pony, which had become quite distressed. The vet sedated the pony to allow firefighters to use hydraulic rescue equipment to cut it free.

“We had to cut through three metal supports on the container and then it was possible to roll the pony out,” said Marvin.

Apart from grazing a hoof when thrashing about, Marvin believes that the pony, who “disappeared off down the field as soon as it was free”, was unharmed by his ordeal.

“As horse rescues go, this was one of the most straightforward I have been to,” said Marvin. “Often animals are trapped in mud or ditches and getting them out can be a real struggle.”