Stallion survives dramatic rescue

  • Three Essex firecrews teamed up to work for more than an hour to save a horse from a deep drainage hole

    Firefighters from three divisions in Essex successfully rescued a horse, whichhad fallen down a deep hole in Ramsey.

    Thomas, a 25-year-old Welsh section D stallion, fell down a drainage hole which had been dug by builders on his owner’s property.

    Thomas, a ride and drive cob, has been owned by Susan and Edward Pitham since 1991.

    The couple were at work when their son telephoned to say that Thomas had become trapped down a 6ft drainage hole on their land.

    “We rushed home and I stayed with Thomas while my husband phoned the rescueservices and vet,” said Susan.

    Thomas had somehow managed to fall feet first into the hole which had a 6ft sheer drop on both sides.

    Under veterinary supervision, the rescue team packed the hole with straw and hay in an attempt tosoak up the excess water.

    “The builders dug out one side of the hole to make a ramp” said Susan “But the bottom of the hole was thick clay and Thomas sunk to his belly and became stuck.”

    Despite several attempts to get Thomas out,he was unable to free himself and was clearly exhausted.

    Fireman from Dovercourt and Manningtree watch took the decision to drag him out using straps secured under Thomas’s belly and shoulders, before beginning the delicate operation of pulling him out.

    “It took quite a while, but he finally emerged from the hole on his side” said Susan. “The vet gave him a painkiller and let him rest for about a minute before he got to his feet.”

    A member of the Dovercourt watch said: ” The hole wasn’t much bigger than Thomas, but the thing that really helped us was his temperament. Thomas was really calm, especially when we were working around his legs.”

    After a quick bath, Thomas was rugged up and turned out in a small paddock to graze.

    “Everyone involved, especially the fireman were absolutely brilliant. Thomas is none the worse for his ordeal – he still says hello to the builders and doesn’t appear to bear a grudge!” said Susan.

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