An elderly horse who spent the night trapped in a hedge in its fieldin Forcombe, Kent has been rescued by firefighters from East Sussex.

Comfort, a 22-year-old chestnut mare, was found last Saturday lying sideways, tangled in the bottom of a thick hedge. The alarm was raised after the mare’s owner Glenda Proctor and her daughter Vanessa arrived on the yard to feed their four horses and found only three.

“It was an owner’s worst scenario,” said Glenda. “My daughter and I arrived and found only three horses. We checked the yard and when we didn’t find Comfort we started looking in silly places where a horse wouldn’t even fit.”

Comfort was eventually located at the bottom of their six-acre field. She had somehow managed to fall sideways into the hedge and had become completely entangled in the thicket.

“My daughter went round the perimeter of the fence. When she found Comfort she screamed at me to dial 999 and get the fire brigade. We were really lucky because the animal rescue team from Rusthall and Crowborough were on the scene really quickly, as they are stationed not far away.

“Judging from her state, Comfort had obviously been stuck for several hours, her face was swollen and bruised where she had repeatedly tried to free herself. The sharp twigs had caused several puncture wounds on her exposed legs, head and neck but luckily she was wearing a New Zealand rug which had protected her body as well as some Bioflow brushing boots which had also protected the vulnerable areas on her legs.”

A vet was called to sedate Comfort, allowing firefighters to attach straps around her and use a crane winch to drag her out.

“It took eight fire fighters about an hour and a half to free her,” explained Glenda. “As soon as she was well away of the hedge she staggered to her feet and although she tottered slightly, she was able to stand unaided.”

Led to her stable, Comfort was found to be suffering from cuts and bruises, the worst of which was a large oedema in between her front legs. Despite this, she made a remarkable recovery and was back out in the field with her companions just five days later.

“Once Comfort was fully recovered I turned her back out and she cantered off down the field to join her friends and is now back to her old self.”

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