A young pony had a lucky escape after becoming stuck in neck-high muddy flood water.
The piebald cob was spotted by a member of the public on Friday evening (31 January).
He was stuck fast in a bog in fields in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, with only his back, neck and head visible.
RSPCA inspectors Michelle Hare and Susan Haywood were called to help.
“The poor pony was so far from any roads or access so it’s incredibly lucky that someone spotted him,” said Ms Hare.
“When we arrived we had to walk for 25 minutes across the field before we found him.
“There was no access at all so Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service had to come into the field from a different side and it took them a further 20 minutes to find us in the dark.”
It took two hours to free the pony, using boards and straps to haul him out.
“We have no idea how long the poor pony was stuck neck-high in the muddy water,” Ms Hare added.
“He was in such a remote location he could have been like that for hours — or even days. He was very lucky to have been spotted.
“He was absolutely shattered. He wouldn’t stand or move and we were really worried about him.”
The team couldn’t get him to a vet as the fields were too wet to drive a trailer across.
Article continues below…
You might also be interested in:
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
“We stayed with him and finally we heard some whinnying in the distance and a large mare appeared,” she added.
“The youngster got straight to his feet, rushed over to her and started feeding. It was so lovely to see. With some warm milk in his tummy and his mum by his side I’m sure he’ll be okay.”
The RSPCA is aiming to trace the horses’ owner.
“The fields here are vast and run underneath a viaduct and between a lake and a river,” she said. “When it rains heavily they do get waterlogged, but because the fields are so big, the horses can always find dry standing.
“It seems in this case it was an unfortunate set of circumstances that the young pony strayed too far into the flooding and got himself stuck.”
Would you like to read Horse & Hound¹s independent journalism without any adverts? Join Horse & Hound Plus today and you can read all articles on HorseandHound.co.uk completely ad-free