Horses who strayed through dark tunnel rescued from stone trench

Firefighters and the RSPCA joined forces in an unusual equine rescue, after two horses walked through a tunnel and found themselves stuck in a stone-walled trench.

South Wales Fire & Rescue Service called the charity to a disused building at a former colliery in Ynysmaerdy, Pontyclun, last Friday (20 July).

Inspector Nic de Celis found the horses were unable either to back out or turn round in the narrow passage.

“The horses had become stuck after walking through a tunnel and down a trench. The trench was narrow so they weren’t able to go back when they couldn’t go any further.

“We don’t think they had been there long, maybe a day, and thankfully they were very calm and were used to being handled by people.”

The fire crew carried out the rescue, which Mr de Celis said was kept as simple as possible.

“The idea was to try to get them out without having to lift them, which can be complex with heavy lifting equipment,” said Inspector de Celis.

“A ramp of wooden blocks was used to move them up higher so their heads were above the trench, meaning there was more space for them to turn around.

“It worked really successfully and I would like to praise the fire crew for their expertise and rescue work. Luckily the horses – a mare and her two-year-old – were fine and had no injuries apart from a couple of grazes.”

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The inspector added that the owner, who was relieved to see the horses were safe, had been advised to block up the point at which the horses had accessed the site.

“It is quite unusual for horses to go down a dark tunnel, and hopefully they won’t be doing it again any time soon,” he said.

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