A horse trapped by fallen trees with “inches to spare” was rescued “without a scratch” in a remarkable three-hour operation.
Cintia, an 11-year-old part-bred Arab, narrowly escaped serious injury and waited calmly for her rescuers to free her during Storm Eunice on Friday (18 February).
Katey Cuthbertson, who works for Biddesden Stud where Cintia was bred, received a call from the mare’s now owner Katie Rossiter (“she’s five minutes down the road”) asking if she would come and help, as Cintia was trapped by a fallen trees.
“I got there and I couldn’t believe it,” Katey told H&H, adding that the trees that fell had not been growing in the horse’s field, but had fallen in from the other side of the fence.
“It was as though she was in stocks, she couldn’t move.
“The ironic thing is that she hadn’t left her in because behind the stable there’s a long line of conifer trees and she thought those could be dangerous if they fell during the storm.”
The trees came down at around 4.30pm, when the worst of the storm was thought to have passed.
“She was bred to event, but was just too quiet to be an event horse, which is why she was sold,” said Katey.
That calmness came into its own, as the mare didn’t panic and instead waited sensibly – with a haynet – for more help to arrive.
“I was in there with her while we waited for the vet to arrive, I ended up tying a haynet there for her and she just stood and ate,” she said.
“She was completely unscathed, it missed her by inches.”
They called McGonnell and Gillatt Equine Vets and Devon and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, who attended. Vet Ellen Harris gave the mare some sedation and the fire crews sought advice from a tree surgeon before chopping up the trunks. With the help of a tractor from a local farm, Cintia was freed with “not a scratch” on her.
“She is absolutely fine and went out the next morning, galloping and bucking,” said Katey.
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.