A talented former event pony ensured he was the centre of attention again this week after becoming stuck in a bog.
Chit Chat III evented with his owner Phoebe Russell and also successfully competed in pony trials with Victoria Smith.
He was crowned Charles Owen British pony eventing champion at Brand Hall with Victoria in 2011 and had numerous top 10 finishes at novice and BE100 level during his competitive career.
Last week (21 September), Phoebe received a phone call from Emma Dunne, who looks after Chit Chat, to say the pony was stuck in deep clay and she needed the vet and fire service urgently.
The pony had escaped and made his way into what had once been a pond, now a patch of soft mud, between two hedges.
A total of 11 firefighters from Aylesbury Fire Station, two crews and an animal rescue unit, were at the scene for three hours.
They worked with two vets from Hampden Equine as well as a number of other helpers to free the 14.2hh, who has made a full and quick recovery from his ordeal.
Phoebe said she is “so relieved” the pony is safe.
“A huge thank you to my dad, who kept me calm, made hundreds of cups of tea, and generally made sure everything ran smoothly,” she told H&H.
“[Thank you also to] Emma, who looks after the retired boys, Hampden Vets, our local farmer Mark who came with a Manitou [forklift], and of course the fire service who went above and beyond to get him out in the most comfortable sympathetic way they could.”
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She added the pony is “absolutely fine” following his adventure.
“The ongoing joke has been that he clearly did it because he missed being featured in Horse & Hound now he’s retired!” said Phoebe.
“He has a tiny nick on a hind fetlock and a tiny graze between his hind legs, but is sound, happy and full of himself.
“He is just very confused why we’re all making such a fuss about the whole thing — he is one very lucky pony.”
Following a “serious bath, plenty of cuddles and warm mash”, Chit Chat was back in his field later that day to enjoy a stretch and some grass.
A spokesman for Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue told H&H firefighters used dedicated animal rescue equipment to free the pony.
“[This] included a variety of strops, quick-release lifting bar, ice path, rescue glide, mud lance, ropes and crooks, along with a farmer’s machine to assist with the heavy lifting,” he added.
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