A horse has had a very lucky escape from serious injury after falling through the floor of a horsebox.
The horse, named Spencer, was trapped after one of his legs fell through the wooden floor of the horsebox he was travelling in on Sunday (21 February).
Animal rescue officer Jim Green, of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, told H&H that it is a “timely reminder” for owners to check the flooring of their lorries and trailers ahead of the spring.
“This was a very up-together looking lorry on the face of it,” he said. “You would not have thought there was any problem at all.”
Spencer’s owner, Anne Dance, told H&H she had the vehicle serviced a couple of weeks ahead of its plating in December and would never have put a horse in it if she thought it was unsafe.
Mrs Dance had just arrived at Mayhill Stud, Hants, when the accident happened.
She stopped the lorry while her friend opened the gate, then checked the camera in the horse compartment as she went to pull forward.
She saw Spencer had appeared to “sit down” and stopped the vehicle immediately.
The horse’s hind leg had gone through the floor and was stuck between the inner and outer rear wheels of the lorry.
Vet Sarah Gent, who happened to be on-site, quickly sedated the horse before the emergency services arrived.
Five fire crews, from Droxford, Lyndhurst and Overton along with another vet, Jo Dyson, and Mr Green, attended.
The horse was anaesthetised to prevent injury the horse while the team tried to extract him.
Firefighters lifted up the lorry on a jack so they could remove the wheels and firefighters used strops to manoeuvre the horse inside the box and free the trapped limb.
He was then moved on an animal slider to a large bed of straw, while they waited for him to come round.
By that evening, Spencer was up and weight bearing on all four legs.
“This was a very traumatic experience for the horse, owner and the people at the show,” said Mr Green.
He added horse owners need to check the integrity of the floor frequently.
Ms Dyson, from Animed, said the rescue was “just incredible” and that Spencer was “amazingly lucky” to escape without serious injury.
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Pictures of the rescue were shared on Friends of the Hampshire Animal Rescue Team’s Facebook page and have so far been shared more than 7,000 times.
Mrs Dance said yesterday (Monday, 22 February) that Spencer is recovering well and when she trotted him up that morning, he was “barely lame”.
“Words cannot describe how pleased and thankful I am to his rescuers,” she said.
“They were totally amazing. I am so, so grateful.”