Racehorse trainer battles floods to save horses

  • A racehorse trainer has told H&H how he came to the rescue of four horses during floods in Yorkshire.

    The three ex-racehorses and Shetland pony became trapped on an island within their field (not pictured) in Middleham earlier this month (15 November).

    The area had been affected by flooding and the horses moved from the safety of the high ground to fast-flowing water that submerged the lower ground.

    The horse’s owner, Tina Weston, believes the horses were spooked into this area.

    Tina posted about the situation on Facebook and her friend and racehorse trainer Andy Crook saw the post.

    Andy arrived at the field at around 12.30pm.

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    “I did not expect to see what I saw,” he told H&H. “They were on this very little island surrounded by water.”

    One of the retired racehorses was Sylvan Oak, a former hurdler Andy had trained.

    Tina’s husband Mark waded out and put a headcollar on the Shetland before Andy made his way out to the island.

    I’m only 5’2” — I was up to my armpits in water,” he said.

    “The first horse I got hold of came about 20 yards with me but then wouldn’t come any further, so I went over to Sylvan Oak and put a headcollar on him.

    “He came with me all the way. We helped each other out in the current, the water was spinning him round and I held onto his rug so I didn’t get pulled away.”

    The other horses followed of their own accord and Mark brought the Shetland back to safety.

    “He did a cracking job,” said Andy.

    “All the horses were ok. They would have been well bedded-down for the night.”

    “We were a bit cold but fine.”

    The rescue took around an hour to complete.

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