A 30-year-old Fell pony has been put down after becoming trapped in a fence on Saturday (21 February).
The 14.2hh mare, Ruby, slipped down the bank of a lake in her field and became caught in brambles surrounding the post and rail fence.
Ruby’s owner, Liz Jeffrey, discovered her that morning when she arrived to feed the horses, which are kept in a field by her home in Devon.
“Somehow she had managed to get her legs through the rails and was down on her side. I struggled to imagine how she had got into that position,” she said.
Firefighters from Totnes and a specialist rescue team from Devon and Somerset Fire Service arrived at 10.20am.
They put straps round Ruby’s legs and gently pulled her away from the fence onto the top of the bank.
“We sat with her for half an hour, but she couldn’t get up,” a tearful Mrs Jeffrey told H&H.
“The vet said she shouldn’t go through anymore, so we decided to put her down.”
“She’s been looking so well, it’s such a shock, but it was the right decision for Ruby. We will miss her terribly.”
The retired mare, pictured before the accident, had been with Mrs Jeffrey’s family for 15 years and lived with a youngster, an Irish draught and a Shetland pony. Ruby had been ridden Mrs Jeffrey’s son, Lewis, when he was younger.
Mrs Jeffrey paid tribute to the firefighters that tried to rescue Ruby: “They came straight away and were brilliant.”
Matt Johnson, the officer in charge from the Devon and Somerset Fire Service, said: “We often rescue old horses from ditches and hedges successfully, only to find they die on subsequent nights. Unfortunately Ruby was one of these cases.”