Shetland rescued from river

  • A Shetland pony has been rescued from a swollen river near Bristol in a three-hour operation

    A Shetland pony who became trapped in the River Avon, which runs through a country park near Bristol, has been rescued after a three-hour operation.

    The 42-acre park has become a target for vandalism in recent months.

    A dozen Shetland ponies in an enclosure at the Avon Valley Country Park at Pixash Lane, Keynsham.They run wild in fields next to the River Avon.

    John Douglas, owner of the Country Park, said: “When I went round that morning I saw one of the ponies was missing. I spotted the pony on the other side of the river. However, the river bank is very, very steep and the pony was unable get out under her own steam.”

    Together with park staff John Douglas tried to pull the pony out using a tractor and ropes, before calling in the fire brigade.

    Mr Douglas explained: “The fire brigade arrived within 20 minutes and they were excellent. There was much pushing and pulling to try to get the horse out. The fire brigade wrapped hoses around the pony to hoist it out and eventually she scrambled up the bank.”

    He added: “The good news is that the horse was 100 per cent OK – not damaged in any way – and was soon off and running with the other horses.

    “We can’t fence the whole river area because it is a flood plain. We now have an electric fence alongside the river bank. Soon after the horse got stuck in the river, part of the electric fence was stolen. We’ve put another in its place, complete with camouflage and chain. Sadly, it seems, these are the times we live in.”

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