Successful HOYS and Royal International show pony Cardells Maximillion had to be rescued by the fire brigade and a local farmer after he became trapped under the cover of an outdoor swimming pool.

Owner Katie Gibbard, of Overstone, Northamptonshire, said the 13hh pony, better known as Chip, was nowhere to be found when she went to bring him in from the field at 5pm on Tuesday 2 December.

But she could hear loud bangs from her neighbour’s garden and realised the pony had fallen into their empty pool.

“He must have gone through the fence during the day and fallen into the pool,” Mrs Gibbard told H&H.

“I could not see him, just the cover moving and I didn’t know what I was going to find when I removed it. The pool is unused and full of all sorts of rubbish.”

Although the pony seemed completely unscathed, he could not get out so Mrs Gibbard called out the fire brigade and her vet.

Terry Blissett of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue said the rescue took an hour and quarter and also required the assistance of a local farmer and his telescopic handler.

Mr Blissett said: “The pony had been pushing against the fence to get to better grass on the other side and it collapsed. He wandered into the garden and stepped onto the green pool cover.

“It’s believed he fell into the deep end but walked up to the shallow end which made the rescue easier.”

They attached a sling to the JCB and lifted the sedated pony out of the pool. He then returned to his stable where he was checked by the vet.

“Everyone went beyond the call of duty,” said Katie, “I was overwhelmed by the response.”
For the past two years 14-year-old Chip has been contesting show hunter pony classes with Mrs Gibbard’s daughter, 13-year-old Emily.

The pair came 3rd in the Bankswood Stud BSPS Pretty Polly championship at the Royal International Horse Show in July and were 12th in the 133cms show hunter pony of the year at Horse of the Year Show in October.