A 30-year-old horse has had a lucky escape after he was “swallowed up” by a sinkhole in America.

Nate, who lives at TMMA Farm in Oxford, Florida, was found stuck in his “retirement pasture” by his owners on the 27 December.

“He was grazing at 1.30pm and by 3.30pm we found him like this,” his owner Maryann Marsh said on social media. “There was not a hole in that pasture before today.”

Ms Marsh initially tried to free him with the help of neighbours but was not able to. She then called the fire service for help.

Wildwood Fire Department managed to free the chestnut after more than two hours with the help of ropes and straps.

Firefighters then reportedly placed an oxygen mask on Nate’s face to help him breathe until he was able to walk on his own.

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Nate had a swollen hock, but luckily did not break any bones during the ordeal. He was also given fluids to help him recover.

Ms Marsh told local press that she believed he had managed to avoid more serious injuries because he had fallen in a sitting position.

“Thank you to our ever-so-wonderful neighbours Lee and his backhoe [back part of a digger]— who at least opened it up and created a ramp out of the hole — the Wildwood Fire Dept, our other neighbours Craig and friends and all others who helped,” Ms Marsh added.

Ms Marsh reported the day after the incident that Nate was “doing great”.

“He munched on peanut hay all night and was happy to get his morning grain,” she said. “We will still watch him closely over the next few days but for over 30, he is our tough old guy.”