‘He must have about 10 lives’: firefighters help save horse blown over in storm

  • Firefighters helped to save the life of a horse who was blown over during Storm Dennis in a two-hour operation.

    Ace fell over in the storm and was unable to get back on his feet due to the wet ground conditions. He has radial nerve damage, from a previous accident, and needed help to stand.

    Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews from Dalkeith and Sighthill attended along with a host of volunteers and a farmer with a forklift to help.

    “The vet had already informed us that Ace had to get back to his feet by himself because if we used mechanical lifting equipment there was a chance he would fall again,” said watch commander Gordon Aitchison.

    “We tried to use strops, but Ace kept slipping. The lady who called us, Charlotte [Sleigh, who helps care for the horse], then got in touch with her neighbour, a farmer who came with a forklift.

    “We decided to use the strops, forklift and a recovery sheet to try and gently move Ace to the paddock.”

    Ace has made a full recovery following his ordeal.

    “Moving Ace from the wet field to the paddock and harder ground was really the final chance we had, but thankfully everything worked out fine,” added Mr Aitchison.

    “When Ace did get back to his feet it was great to see —Charlotte and everyone involved were over the moon and it was hugs all round.”

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    Ms Sleigh thanked everyone who helped with the rescue.

    “If it wasn’t for the firefighters and my neighbour [Grant, the farmer], Ace would have been put down – the vet said as much,” she said.

    “The firefighters were lovely and were determined to do everything they could to see Ace back on his feet.

    “We weren’t sure what to do initially, but having the recovery sheet and Grant’s forklift really helped.

    “My friends George and Allan, who work at a local garage, also rushed here to assist and were a great help.

    “It was a positive outcome and it was lovely to see how much the firefighters and everyone involved cared.”

    She added: “Ace must have about 10 lives, so I knew he would pull through and get back on his feet after we had moved him. He’s a big character and just wants to play.

    “We’re all very thankful and indebted to those who helped.”

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