Equine rescue teams spring into action over festive season

  • RESCUE services across the country were called into action over the New Year break with a large number of accidents involving horses.

    Two teams from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were called out to the New Forest at 10am on New Year’s Eve after a cob got both front feet caught in a cattle grid.

    The Welsh Cob x Shire/Hanovarian, called Flash Gordon, was being ridden by owner Peter Bulkley on a forest road near Brockenhurst when he slipped and put both feet into the grid.

    The service’s rural safety officer, Jim Green, said: “Flash’s hind hooves were free but he was trapped by the front hooves which were too big to get out of the grid.

    “Historically many of these accidents end badly with a horse thrashing so much to get free they often break limbs.

    “Fortunately Brockenhurst firefighters kept the scene as quiet and stress free as possible until the animal rescue team arrived.”

    Vets Jenny Leckenby and Alasdair Bath from Seadown Veterinary Hospital sedated and then anaesthetised Flash so firefighters could spread the grid enough to release his hooves.

    Flash was then dragged onto a flat area of ground where he could come round. He was then taken to the vet hospital for treatment.

    In South Yorkshire a pensioner alerted firefighters to pony up to its neck in muddy water on 30 December.

    Bill Pagin, 72, saw the pony stuck in the River Torne near Bessacarr, Doncaster at about 8am and called in Doncaster Fire Service who spent around two hours hauling the pony to safety.

    And coastguard teams sprang into action on New Year’s Eve when a pony fell down a stone gully on Anglesey.

    Moelfre and Cemaes Coastguard Rescue Team winched a coastguard and vet down to the stricken pony at Lynas Point.

    Two-year-old Cymro was tranquilised and winched back up the gully. He was unhurt.

    Sixty horses were saved from a burning stable block in Lancashire after stacked straw bales set alight.

    The horses became trapped in their stables at Lands Farm Equestrian Centre in Westhoughton on the evening of 23 December.

    Stable owner Lawrence Elphick and other helpers managed to rescue two of the horses — one of whom’s rug was alight — before firefighters arrived to save the remaining horses.

    Three horses were taken to an equine hospital in The Wirral with burn injuries and six more were given oxygen by firefighters at the scene.

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