Emergency crews were recently called to rescue a pony reportedly lodged knee-deep in a bog — only to find that it was actually not stuck at all, just short-legged.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue (HFR) received a call from concerned passers-by that the 10hh Shetland was stuck at Redbridge, Southampton, on 22 February.

Eleven firefighters, two fire engines, a multi-role vehicle, an animal rescue specialist and an officer arrived at the scene. But when approached, the pony scarpered — leaving them in no doubt that it was a false alarm.

HFR’s Anton Phillips told H&H: “She has a very long back and her belly almost touches the ground, so from a distance she looks stuck. We’ve had a few similar calls in the past year.

“It’s an ongoing saga — it used to be a bit of a joke, but not any more.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (6 March, ’08)