A pony suffered a bizarre accident in the New Forest when it became wedged upside down in a ditch.

Ten-year-old, 15hh polo pony Gitana was trapped in her field near Sway, Hampshire, for more than an hour and a half on Thursday 28 August until Hampshire Fire and Rescue’s specialist horse rescue crew, led by firefighter Buster Brown appeared on the scene.

Buster said the rescue was extremely difficult: “It was bizarre. The horse was spine-side down, with its legs waving in the air. It was completely wedged upside down. It was a very difficult rescue.”

Vet Beth Douglas, from the Barn Equine Veterinary Surgery was called to sedate Gitana while the three crews of firefighters from Brockenhurst and Eastleigh dug a series of ditches to enable them to roll the horse back onto its legs.

Speed was essential to prevent the internal organs of the horse being damaged by the unnatural position. Buster said: “The main danger was that her lungs would fill with fluid. Fifteeen firefighters were digging feverishly, as we were given two twenty minute periods when the horse was sedated and calm. It was hard work as the ground was hard.”

Gitana took a while to regain her equilibrium but is now fine and back in her stable.