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Horse trapped in collapsed bridge saved: owner thanks rescuers

The owner of a horse who fell through a bridge while out hacking has paid tribute to the gelding’s calmness, and his “absolutely brilliant” rescuers.

Anne Muir’s 15-year-old Irish sport horse JoJo was trapped for some three hours after the wooden bridge gave way underneath him last Sunday (15 July).

Anne told H&H he has avoided serious injury, escaping with cuts and bruising, and that although he then developed cellulitis, he is likely to make a full recovery.

“Luckily I’ve got such a sensible horse,” she said.

“He didn’t panic, he was such a good boy; he’s a horse in a million.”

Anne and JoJo had ridden over the bridge many times before.

“It was just unfortunate, but I’ll never ride over a bridge again!” she said.

“It must have been rotten in the middle but I couldn’t tell. The middle plank gave way and his front legs fell through, then he struggled and somehow got his front legs out but his back ones went through.

“I was phoning 999 at the time and his head knocked the phone out of my hand so I lost it – luckily, they’d had enough information from me before then.”

There followed an anxious wait until her rescuers, from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue service, and vets from Cambridge Equine Hospital, arrived.

The vets sedated JoJo to keep him calm, and gave him pain relief, and he was lifted free, with help from a local farmer.

Pictures courtesy of Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service

“They did an amazing job,” Anne said. “And JoJo stayed absolutely still. He trusted me and stayed calm. The farmer lent a machine he uses for carrying hay bales to lift him out, and he didn’t move, even while he was in the air.”

JoJo was taken to Cambridge Equine Hospital, where he spent three days.

“He’s looking good now,” Anne said. “He doesn’t seem traumatised by it, which is fantastic. I’ll give him a good month off, but he’s been very fortunate.”

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Anne stressed how important having her phone on her was, as she was in a remote location out of sight of the road, adding that a geotracking app on her phone, which was paired with a friend’s, helped her rescuers find her.

Cambridge Equine Hospital praised the collaboration between JoJo’s rescuers, adding in a statement: “We are all very happy that this amazing horse is doing so well and we are proud to be part of his journey.”

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