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Welsh firefighters have rescued a horse that was stuck in a canal in Briton Ferry (5 October) after dark.

Swansea response manager Gary Williams, from the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, was called to the scene around 10pm after a passer-by spotted a young horse in distress in the water.

“He was stuck in the mud, but he was standing with his head just out of the water,” Mr Williams told H&H. “We don’t know how long he had been there, but he was showing signs of exertion and cold.”

Mr Williams was initially concerned for the safety of 2 local men, who had entered the canal with a rope to try to save the horse. Within 20min he had mobilised the service’s “swift water rescue team”, with specialist equipment — including dry-suits — and a team of 5 pulled the horse on to the bank using straps.

“I was worried about the people in the water, but as soon as we had the reassurance of proper equipment, the rescue was very quick,” he added.

The horse, which is believed to be a yearling, collapsed through exhaustion after reaching the bank, but recovered enough to be led to a nearby stable within 10min.

The RSPCA was also called to the scene and an inspector arrived after the horse had been rescued.

“The inspector checked the horse and it appeared unharmed and in reasonable condition,” said a spokesman for the RSPCA. “The horse is now being stabled and is not in RSPCA care.”