Barrel skid and roll, and ‘a touch of people power’, needed to rescue stuck horse

  • Firefighters – and a member of the public – came to the rescue of a veteran mare who was trapped with one hind leg stuck in fencing and the other stuck in mud.

    Crews from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) were called to the 25-year-old mare early on Friday morning (19 April), who was stuck in a field in the Low Flatts area of Chester-le-Street. A fire engine from High Handenhold station and the service’s special rescue unit from Auckland went to the scene.

    “On arrival, crews discovered that a 25-year-old chestnut mare called Storm had her rear left leg trapped in fencing and her rear right leg stuck in mud,” a CDDFRS spokesman said.

    “A kind member of the public had already freed Storm’s leg from the fencing before firefighters arrived, so the crew got straight to work in freeing her from the mud. They used animal rescue equipment, slings, and a touch of people power, to move her to more solid ground.”

    Picture by County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service

    The special rescue unit team then “carried out a barrel skid and roll manoeuvre” to encourage the mare to get up on to her feet.

    “Although tired from her ordeal, the horse got straight up, to the delight of owner Chris Cowie,” the spokesman said.

    Mr Cowie said a “big thank you” to the team that had come to Storm’s aid.

    “I really appreciate everything they did for Storm and I am so relieved she escaped with no injuries,” he said.

    High Handenhold watch manager Graham Liddle added: “It’s not every day you get to attend an animal rescue, and it is always a great day when they go as successfully and safely as this one did. The crew and I are so pleased to hear Storm has made a full recovery.”

    The spokesman urged anyone confronted with such a situation to call 999 and ask for the fire service.

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