Fire service needed to free horse wedged in jockey door

A horse who became wedged in a jockey door after climbing over a breast bar in a horsebox has been rescued by the fire service.

Crews from Dorset & Wiltshire and Hampshire fire and rescue services attended the incident in Wilsford, Wiltshire on Monday afternoon (10 June).

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service animal rescue technical advisor Kev Baker, who arrived at the scene after the horse had been sedated by a vet, told H&H the 16hh gelding had moved his entire body into the jockey compartment after getting his legs over the breast bar of the rear-facing horsebox.

“The owner opened the jockey door because the horse was struggling to breathe. It gave him an airway, but equally gave him an exit so when the door was opened, you had a horse trying to squeeze out of a door designed for a human,” said Mr Baker.

 

“When I arrived, two-thirds of his body was out of the door so he was in a very good position for us to get him out without any further injury.”

Mr Baker said the crews used a “forward assist” technique using straps which loop around the horse’s legs and chest to provide support and allow them to pull him out of the horsebox.

“The tyres were let down on the vehicle to get it lowered to the ground and we removed him. We got him straight out to a place of recovery and after an hour and a half the sedation wore off and he was on his feet,” he said.

“He’d got out of there without damaging the vehicle and with very little damage to himself – it’s absolutely incredible. He was very lucky. He had a few bruises and lacerations where he had gone over the breast bar but other than that he was absolutely fine.”

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Mr Baker praised the assistance of the vet who attended.

“The vet did a phenomenal job on managing the sedation which was great and allowed us to get in there and get the job done without anybody being at risk,” he said.

“We wouldn’t be able to do these rescues without the help of vets. It’s a team effort and for us to work with good vets and them to have an understanding of what we’re trying and for us to have an understanding of what they are trying to achieve is so valuable. Our ultimate aim is to keep people safe and the welfare of an animal is centre to a rescue.”

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