A horse died on Sunday (22 July) after becoming trapped in a sinkhole in the Queen Creek area of Arizona, USA.

The Quarter Horse, called Cash, fell into the 7ft-deep hole at about 10pm on Saturday evening. His owners and neighbours attempted unsuccessfully to rescue him and the following morning about 30 rescue workers were called to the scene, including members of the Mesa Fire Department’s trench-rescue team and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

A vet from the Arizona Equine Hospital sedated the stricken horse as the rescue got underway, but he died as he sunk into the clay. Vets suggested the 13-year-old died of either exhaustion or internal bleeding.

He was “trapped in mud up to his neck,” said a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

The 10-12ft wide sinkhole was caused by heavy rain after recent storms.