A chestnut gelding who became stuck in a ravine in California has died after being airlifted to safer ground.

The horse, named Spirit, had fallen down the narrow gorge with two other horses.

The horses were delivering equipment to clear up a hiking trail at Snow Creek near Palm Springs, when they became trapped.

Their owners spent Saturday night (2 April) with the animals waiting for them to be rescued.

spirit1One of the horses managed to escape, but Spirit and the other horse, named Mo, remained stuck until Sunday.

A rescue helicopter manned by Riverside County Sheriff’s pilots managed to locate them.

Mo had to be put down on the mountainside after suffering serious head injuries, according to the Riverside Fire Department on Facebook, but Spirit was put into a harness and airlifted to safety.

The vet was waiting in a nearby staging area to treat the horse before he was taken to an equine hospital.

A spokesman from the Riverside Fire Department said Spirit had suffered a knee injury and kidney failure and was later put down.

The rescue is the second time in three weeks firefighters in California have had to airlift a horse from a ravine.

On 21 March the Los Angeles County Fire Department shared video of a horse being airlifted to safety.


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The horse had fallen into the ravine in Sylmar and was put into a harness and airlifted to safer ground.

The horse was soon up on its feet after the rescue.

After an examination by the vet it was taken back to the owner.