‘Straying’ horse rescued after unexpected dip on New Year’s Eve

Firefighters and the RSPCA teamed up to rescue a horse found stuck stomach-deep in cold water in a swimming pool on New Year’s Eve.

A man spotted the young mare in his pool, in Stockett Lane, Maidstone, on Monday morning and called the RSPCA.

Inspector Rosie Russon and animal collection officer Brian Milligan were sent to the scene, and called Kent Fire and Rescue (KFRS) for help.

“The caller wasn’t sure how long she’d been there and feared she may have been there all night,” Ms Russon said.

“She was clearly very cold. The water was only around 1m deep so although it came only up to her stomach, she wasn’t able to get out of the pool on her own, and I was concerned about her getting hypothermia.

“The caller said she’d been trying to get out of the pool but kept slipping on the bottom.”

KFRS sent its animal rescue unit, members of which winched the mare out of the pool. RSPCA staff have named her Ellie, after Paralympic swimming medallist Ellie Simmonds.

“We believe Ellie had been straying and fell into the pool in the dark,” Ms Russon said.

“She has some minor injuries to her legs where she fell through the pool lining and hit the bottom but, other than that, she’s been very lucky.

“She’s been taken into care by one of our private boarding establishments where she’ll remain so she can be monitored and properly assessed.

“If no one comes forward to claim her then we’ll start the process of finding her a suitable home.”

Continues below…



A spokesman for KFRS said “The horse was strapped up and lifted out of the pool using specialist machinery. She was handed into the care of the RSPCA.”

Anyone who thinks they know where Ellie has come from can call 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for Ms Russon.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

All Horses for Sale