‘A great save’: horse found suspended after fall through stable floor

  • The rescue of a horse who had fallen through his stable floor and was suspended for hours was described as a “great save by all” – and a reminder to be prepared for emergencies.

    Rescuers in Massachusetts, US, were called at about 9.30am on Monday (3 June) to reports that eight-year-old Lipizzaner gelding Valcour had fallen.

    “Upon arrival, crews located [Valcour], whose entire hindquarter had fallen through a hole in the floor of its stall and hung suspended above the stable’s lower level,” a spokesman for Ipswich Fire Department said.

    “For the safety of Valcour and that of the rescuers and staff, due to the size and position, the 1,200-pound horse was sedated for the entirety of the operation.

    “Crews began an immediate rescue response, with assistance from the Essex County Fire Chief Associations Northeast technical rescue team, and used a small crane to lift the horse as rescuers worked to cut through and secure the floor.”

    MSPCA-Angell’s large animal rescue team and the first responders safely extracted Valcour by about 1.30pm.

    “It took about four hours and the help of everyone, but we were able to get this sweet horse out with no life-threatening injuries,” a spokesperson for the humane charity said.

    “Valcour is expected to make a full recovery and his owners say he’s already walking around normally today. Thanks to the Ipswich Fire Department, SRH Veterinary Services, and the Northeast Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team – we couldn’t have done it without them!”

    Ipswich Police and the Ipswich Department of Public Works also responded, and Rowley Fire Department provided station coverage, along with off-duty and on-call Ipswich firefighters.

    Fire chief Paul Parisi said: “I would like to thank our mutual aid partners for their assistance and response in safely extricating this horse. While this was a challenge given the size of the horse, it was an overall team effort and great save by all.

    “Our agencies went above and beyond in their efforts to safely remove Valcour from the floor; by working as a team we were able to bring this operation to a successful conclusion.”

    The MSPCA-Angell spokesperson added: “We work hard to train first responders on how to handle these kinds of emergencies, and they know they can call us. But this is also a good example of why it’s important that everyone with pets (including horses) knows what to do when emergencies happen. Our team offered specialised large animal rescue training that uses innovative rescue equipment to conduct hands-on workshops.”

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...