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Owner thanks rescuers of mare found stuck in six-foot ditch

The owner of a mare who became stuck in a six-foot deep ditch said she does not know how she would have got out had it not been for the help of the fire brigade and a local farmer.

Arron Stevenson, who runs a livery yard and rehabilitation centre, received a call from her friend Lyn on Monday morning (19 October) to say her six-year-old homebred mare Poppy was missing from her field in Droitchwich, Worcestershire.

“Poppy went to Lyn’s yard on Sunday to keep her horse company and on Monday at 6.30am Poppy wasn’t in the field,” Arron told H&H.

“I drove to Lyn’s and we searched all the hedgelines, and her husband James discovered Poppy at the other side of a hedge in a ditch. We don’t know how it happened, she is the last horse you would think would try to jump out of a field.”

Poppy was stuck in mud, unable to free herself from the ditch.

“I just thought ‘how are we going to get her out?’ It was worrying but I’m quite good in difficult situations and have dealt with all sorts running a yard,” said Arron.

“We phoned the fire brigade and MBG Vets came to sedate Poppy. She was exhausted and showing signs of hypothermia so we don’t know how long she had been in there.”

Arron said the fire brigade arrived within half an hour and assessed the situation before calling the animal specialist unit from Bromyard fire station.

“The farmer from across the road, Guy Cartridge, and his daughter Charlotte came to help with their manitou telehandler and the fire brigade put straps around Poppy to winch her out. I had images of her having a broken leg but thankfully she was ok.”

Arron said Poppy was on her feet “straight away” and was checked by the vet before she was taken home to Arron’s yard.

“The vet was back yesterday (20 October) to check Poppy again and she’s completely unfazed by what happened. She’s such a lovely mare and just four weeks ago we weaned her first foal,” she said.

Poppy with her foal Buddy earlier this year

“I’m so grateful to the fire crew, I’ve never seen them do anything like that – they were really impressive and so lovely. I can’t thank them enough, we wouldn’t have got her out without them. I’m also so thankful to Lyn, James and Guy and Charlotte – despite everything that’s going on with Covid-19 I had plenty of people willing to offer help.”

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A spokesman for Hereford & Worcestershire Fire Services told H&H two crews attended, from Kidderminster Wyre Forest and Bromyard stations.

“She had escaped overnight and made an attempt to get back which resulted in her getting in a bit of a pickle. We were able to cut the fence to get to her and once she had been sedated by the vet, we were able to get strops on and with the use of a telehandler from a local farmer she was lifted to safety,” said a spokesman for Bromyard station.

“Although very cold and muddy, there were no injuries and this lucky little mare walked away none the worse for her ordeal.”

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