Golden Feather, a 13-year-old gelding, was being hacked out by owner Lisa Kozak near Lambourn on 17 July when the accident happened.
“We lost our way so we decided to take another route back,” Lisa told H&H. “We came to a bridge, but he’s never had an issue with them before. However, something panicked him and he ended up with his legs over the side.
Lisa called the vet and waited for friends to arrive, as the emergency services weren’t able to reach them in the remote location they were in.
“Vet Paul Ferguson was the first person to arrive. We then had the local farmer come and help us. We had to dismantle part of the bridge to drag him out. I owe everyone so much,” she added.
“I’m so surprised that it happened, normally he’s a proper ‘dope on a rope’ and as calm as anything,” he said.
Golden Feather then spent six days at the vets, suffering liver and kidney damage as well as secondary laminitis.
“He arrived in the practice in severe shock, with a heart rate of 120bpm (normal 40bpm) respiratory rate of 60bpm (normal 8-16bpm) and an extremely high temperature of 42 (normal 37.5-38). He was sweating profusely and in a severe state of distress on arrival,” said a spokesman for Valley Equine Hospital.
“The next step was to get his dangerously high temperature and as Feather was still in quite an anxious state we had to sedated him to allow further treatment.
“Over the next 45min with the assitance of several people, litres of cold water were poured over him continuosly until his temperature returned to normal.
He has since made a full recovery, though does have scarring on his back legs, and finished second in the Retraining of Racehorses class at the Royal Berkshire Show last month — which he won last year.
“Everyone has been amazing, I can’t believe he recovered so well in 10 weeks,” added Lisa. “He loves showing, he really shows himself off.”
The horse was in training with John Gosden as a two-year-old before being trained by Venetia Williams, Evan Williams and George Baker.