A pregnant mare has been freed from a sinkhole, thanks to the “outstanding teamwork” of her rescuers.
The 10-year-old bay was discovered in the two-metre-deep hole on Sunday (28 January).
She had moved fields the previous day and her owner had been unaware of the presence of the sinkhole.
Crews from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) were called to the Holtspur yard at 11.18am and worked to free the seven months-pregnant mare.
“Excellent planning and outstanding teamwork led to a successful rescue,” said a BFRS spokesman.
Initially a rescue team from Beaconsfield Fire Station made the area safe and captured other horses who were in the field.
The crew, led by watch commander Carl Hayward, devised a rescue plan, before further rescuers from Aylesbury Fire Station and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) arrived.
“The plan involved digging a trench and access ramp down to the bottom of the sinkhole, allowing the horse to make its own exit,” said Denis Melia, station commander at High Wycombe and Gerrards Cross.
“This was a very well-managed incident — the initial crew made a thorough risk assessment, established a safe system of work from the outset and continuously reviewed this as more specialist assets and an attending vet were able to give their input.
The rider is urging others to avoid the stretch of bridleway after her horse became trapped for hours
Kent-based Gemma Booth was riding with a friend when her horse spooked and lost her footing
“The plan was refined and quality assured by the contributions of the RBFRS animal rescue officer, station commander Jesse James, and the BFRS-led animal rescue technicians in attendance, led by watch commander Kevin Bamford.”
After digging the trench and fitting the access ramp the mare climbed out of the hole to safety. She was not injured.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday