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Owner shares beach warning after pony ‘disappears’ in frightening ordeal

The owner of a pony who “disappeared” after plunging into deep mud on a beach has compared the incident to the famous scene from the film the Neverending Story, where the horse sank in a swamp.

Rebecca Eccles took her daughter Evie and her 14.2hh Connemara mare Easter to Cleethorpes beach, Lincolnshire, to celebrate Evie’s 15th birthday on Thursday (16 July).

“The day before I did all my due diligence; I checked tide times and spoke to the council to check where we could park and where on the beach we were allowed to ride,” Rebecca told H&H.

“Evie went to the water’s edge to have a splash around and all of a sudden Easter disappeared and her legs sank down. It was like the scene from the Neverending Story when the horse disappears.”

Evie got off Easter, who had sunk down to her saddle.

“Evie then sank and as I got closer to them I was sinking too but I had to remain calm. A lady who had been on the beach came to help and someone else called the coastguard,” said Rebecca.

“Easter had managed to get her reins caught round her leg and kept trying to move. The next minute she leapt and managed to free herself. She’s such a fit and healthy pony, which I think must have helped her.”

Easter was uninjured in the incident.

“The whole thing felt like it went on for days, but it was over in 10 minutes thankfully. I’m just grateful the tide hadn’t been coming in as you don’t want to imagine what could have happened,” she said.

“The coastguard arrived after Easter had freed herself and they were so lovely. They phoned later to check how Evie and Easter were doing. I also can’t thank the lady who helped enough, I don’t believe she was horsey and she left covered in mud.”

Rebecca urged others to be aware when riding on the beach.

“We’ve been to beaches before but you don’t think in a million years something like that might happen,” she said.

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“Beach riding is great fun but unless the sand is dry and looks sand-coloured, don’t ride on it. I hope this makes others aware and going forward I will check the beach on foot first before allowing Evie to ride on it.”

Evie praised her “incredible” mare, who she enjoys Pony Club eventing on.

“Easter didn’t put a hoof wrong when we were trying to help her, she’s such a good pony,” she said.

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