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Rider trapped in ditch under 18hh gelding thanks rescuers

A rider who became trapped under her 18hh gelding when he fell into a ditch has praised the fire crew that came to his rescue, as the lucky gelding walked away “without a scratch”.

Devon-based yard owner Kate Shobrook was riding up her driveway in Yelverton when her homebred five-year-old warmblood Nasa tripped and fell.

“Unknown to me there was a ditch that had become overgrown,” she told H&H. “He’s a big horse, gravity took over and we ended up upside down in it. It all happened so quickly.

“I wasn’t crushed but I still had my legs on either side of Nasa and they were pinned. Luckily as I was so close to home, my husband Jamie and some other liveries came to help. Jamie managed to drag me out to safety and my only concern was Nasa.”

Kate said the emergency services and her vet Paul Hallum from Calweton Vets were called and arrived quickly at the scene.

“Nasa tried wriggling to free himself but he was still upside down and was never going to get himself out,“ she said.

“Many of the fire crew are retained firefighters from the local area and know some of the farmers so someone came with a telehandler. Paul was there when Nasa was born five years ago and knows him well so it was nice that he was on duty, he gave Nasa some sedation, and a plan was made about how to free him.”

The fire services placed strops around Nasa’s legs and the gelding was winched to safety.

“It was a real team effort,” said Kate. “The strops were taken off and Nasa was back on his feet. He didn’t have a scratch on him, within two hours he was back in his stable eating a haynet like nothing had happened.

“I really can’t thank Paul and the fire services enough. Heaven forbid you don’t ever need them, but it’s so nice to know they’re there; their training is so diverse. They aren’t horsey and it’s not every day you turn up to see a horse upside down in a ditch but they are so calm and didn’t panic.”

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Nasa was not injured in the incident, but Kate was taken to hospital and treated for a broken ankle which she believes occurred when she was pulled out from under Nasa.

“I hope to be back on in six weeks and the plan is to event Nasa,” she said. “I just hope he makes a better attempt at a ditch than this in the future!”

A spokesman for Yelverton Fire Station, where fire crew attended from alongside a rescue team from Camels Head, said: “Our thanks to the local farmers that regularly turn out with their telehandlers to assist at incidents like this, [it is] very community spirited of them.”

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