Heavy horse in supermarket drama

A 18hh Clydesdale mare made an unusual exit from the horsebox she was travelling in when her owner stopped at a supermarket for some refreshments last Saturday (12 July).

Genie, an 18hh eight-year-old mare, was travelling with her field companion Molly to the Echt show in Aberdeen where they were due to take part in a farrier’s shoeing competition.

The horse’s owner, James Mcritchie, from Rafford near Forres, pulled into the car park of the Inverurie’s branch of Safeway at about 8.30am to get some refreshments. As James was about to enter the supermarket, his daughter shouted that Genie had collapsed in the lorry.

“I rushed back and found that she was down,” says James. “I don’t know why she went down, it may have been the heat or a touch of colic.”

A vet was called and sedated the mare to stop her thrashing around. Then just as she got up, she spied the open groom’s door and tried to bolt out of it – despite it only being 2ft wide.

“She obviously saw the open door and decided she wanted out. She’s a big mare and all that she succeeded in doing was getting her shoulders and front legs through before becoming firmly wedged.”

The attending vet immediately gave Genie some more sedative to keep her calm and stop her panicking, while James called the emergency services.

An area of the car park was cordoned off while they waited for help to arrive, and the mare was left dangling out of the doorway with her forelegs hanging just short of the tarmac.

The fire brigade eventually arrived and, together with a forklift truck driver who had offered his services, they set about freeing her.

“I didn’t want them to cut her out but realised that they may have to as a last resort,” explains James. “Welubricated her sides and managed to pull her free. She landed on the floor of the car park where we had used straw to cushion her landing.”

It was another hour before Genie was up on her feet and she was able to walk to a nearby field, whereshe spent a couple of days recovering.

“I picked her up on Tuesday and she went straight into the lorry and travelled home fine. She is a bit battered and bruised but is recovering well.

“I’d like to thank everyone who was involved as they were all brilliant, especially the staff at Safeway, ” says James. “I would also like to warn people to keep the grooms door shut at all times, as you never know what might happen.”

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