Firefighters called to help 32-year-old horse get up in the morning

Arthritis got the better of 32-year-old Arab cross, Joseph, who had to be hoisted back on his feet by twelve firefighters and a JCB.

The elderly horse who’s lived at Accrington Riding Centre in Lancashire for the last 22 years has arthritis in his right hind leg and following a good night’s sleep found he couldn’t get up in the morning.

“This is the second time it’s happened this year,” said yard manager, Denis Holding, 48. “He’s still fit in body and mind when he’s up.

“Like a lot of old fellas, we’re keeping him going. He’s a real character, he’s taught a lot of the kids to ride. When he was younger he did competitions, show jumping and some dressage and now he’s got a few tricks like giving kisses and counting with his hoof.”

A fire engine from Hyndburn station went to the riding centre in Miller Fold Avenue and using a JCB and a special animal rescue net, Joseph was carefully lifted into the air and left to dangle for a bit, while the blood returned to his legs.

Afterwards, he was absolutely fine. Crews from Darwen and Nelson stations also attended as Joseph was in a small stable, with limited space, and so required careful handling to manoeuvre him into the net.

Ms Holding said: “He’s always wanted to be famous, as he never made it in competition.”