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A horse has walked away from a terrifying motorway crash following an incredible rescue operation.

The chestnut gelding was travelling in a trailer northbound on the M5 on Thursday (8 June), which was being towed by his owner.

They were involved in a collision with another vehicle, which sent the car and trailer into the air, landing upside-down in a ditch, facing oncoming traffic.

Other motorists stopped to help and Avon Fire & Rescue Service sent six crews including firefighters trained in animal rescue to the incident, which happened between Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon.

The initial 999 call came in at 1.08pm and crews did not leave the scene until almost 4pm.

Vet Anna Hammond of Langford Equine helped with the rescue after struggling through the traffic which had built up as a result of the incident.

“My first thought was ‘how in god’s name am I going to get this horse out?,” she told H&H.

“I opened the jockey door and clambered in — he was an absolute sweetheart. You are never quite sure what they are going to do in those situations.

He put his head on my shoulder so I gave him a cuddle and sedated him heavily.

Anna then put some cotton wool in the horse’s ears to dim the noise of the firefighters cutting through the trailer and rearranged him into a better position.


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Once the fire crews had cut apart the trailer, the horse was able to walk out and was taken to the vet clinic to be checked over and treated.

He sustained cuts and grazes as well as several broken teeth, which have been capped and he has now returned home.

“The fire brigade and animal rescue team did a fabulous job,” added Anna.

His owner, who is remaining anonymous, thanked the people who stopped to help, vets and emergency services for their care of her “lovely horse”.

“The Land Rover I was in was brilliant or I would have been dead,” she said, adding she also credits the sturdy trailer.

“He was really pleased to get home,” she added. “He is hand-grazing and doing remarkably well.”

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