Horse owners warned as fire crews rescue four horses stuck in bogs

  • Horse owners are being warned once again to strongsecure their fields after four more horses got stuck in bogs in the past week.

    In April the British Horse Society (BHS) warned owners to fence off potential danger zones when a horse died after getting stuck in bog in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

    This week fire crews have had to rescue four horses in two separate incidents.

    On Tuesday (12 May) Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were called out to rescue three Shire horses stuck in a bog in Basingstoke.

    A call was received at 7.08pm that Shires Lady (20), Lorraine (19) and Dainty (14) were stuck in Sherborne St Johns after escaping from their field into a boggy area.

    Owner John Wilson had gone to check on his three horses, but he found them missing.

    “My horses have been in this field for years and never ventured out,” Mr Wilson said. “Something seems to have spooked the horses causing them to flee their field into the boggy area.”

    Eighteen fire fighters from Basingstoke and Rushmoor and three animal rescue specialists from Hampshire Fire and rescue worked until after midnight to free the trapped shires.

    The horses had to sedated before being pulled out manually with strops, a mud lance and mud rescue paths. Because of the position of the horses and the environment they were in, mechanical equipment could not be used.

    Animal rescue specialist, Jim Green said: “This was one of the most arduous and difficult rescues that the animal rescue specialist team are likely to encounter.

    “We are extremely pleased with the successful rescue of these uninjured shire horses.”

    Fire fighter Nick Davies added: “This was the most difficult animal rescue I have attended in more than 25 years in the service and was privileged to work with crews willing to place themselves in positions of considerable risk to do whatever was required to resolve the incident successfully”.

    And on Saturday night (9 May) in Wirral, seven-year-old mare Penny ended up trapped neck-deep in a bog. She was stuck there until Sunday morning when she was found by Barnston Riding Centre staff.

    Ten fire fighters from two fire crews worked for two hours to free the horse, passing straps under her belly before winching her out with a tractor.

    She was then hosed down with warm water to raise her body temperature.

    Gary Leith, from Merseyside Fire and Rescue said: “The horse was buried up to her neck and shoulders in a muddy pool and possibly could have been there all night. It took the best part of two hours to rescue her.

    “Once we had a stable platform we had to force the hose underneath the horse and use brute strength to pull her up.

    “The vet didn’t think she would survive. But now she’s fit and well.”

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