Dramatic rescue after horse falls 20 metres down cliff

  • A horse has miraculously escaped uninjured after she fell 20 metres off a cliff.

    The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was called just after 1pm on Thursday (23 February) to a cliff in Cammachmore, Aberdeenshire.

    A total of nine fire service vehicles were sent to help, including a heavy rescue unit and a specialist rope rescue team.

    The horse, named Tara, had become stuck after her fall and firefighters took advice from a vet and the Scottish Society for the Protection of Animals (SSPCA) before moving to free her.

    Horse cliff rescue

    “This was a challenging incident and our firefighters did an outstanding job in very difficult conditions,” said station manager Andy Buchan.

    “We were able to use our specialist rescue skills and equipment to find a solution and, by working in close partnership with the vet, farmer and owner we were able to bring this to a safe conclusion.”


    Crews used heavy-duty canvas strops to stabalise Tara and stop her from falling further. With the help of a local farmer, these were attached to a tractor.

    horse cliff rescue

    Firefighters tried to coax the mare up the hill, but she was too tired to climb. She was then sedated and winched carefully to safety.

    Once back on firm ground, Tara was handed over to the care of her owner and the vet and was soon up and moving around.

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    “I would like to thank the crews for their professionalism to bring the incident to a safe and swift conclusion,” added Mr Buchan.

    “We are glad to see Tara happy and back in her field.”

    SSPCA animal rescue officer Karen Hogg was on the scene.

    “When I arrived there was a sea of firemen, who were absolutely brilliant,” she said on Thursday.

    “Once the horse was safe my job was to get her cosy and make sure she got back up to a safe temperature.

    “She’s now safely back in the field with her owner and the vet will be checking up on her later tonight.”

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