A JCB, six firemen and a vet were involved in rescuing a New Forest pony trapped in a deep ditch earlier this week.
Rescue workers were called to Eagles Wood Farm at Sway, Hampshire after stable staff found the gelding, Merlin, upside-down at the bottom of a water-filled ditch. It is thought he had been there for several hours.
Animal rescue specialist Jim Green (see H&H news feature, 1 February 2007), an equine vet and fire fighters from New Milton and Eastleigh attended the incident. Merlin was sedated and a JCB digger was used to move away the sides of the ditch and a mud lance to loosen the thick mud around him. Strops (thick straps) were then placed around his torso and the six-strong team pulled him out of the ditch.
“Luckily there was no lasting damage to the pony,” said Jim Green. “He had gone into shock so the vet gave him glucose but he was led back to his stable soon afterwards.”
Specialist animal knowledge is imperative when dealing with horse rescues, according to Jim.
“It is really essential to the animal’s welfare. Anyone can rescue an animal but if you pull it out by its head or legs you are going to cause damage,” he said.
Recently Jim and his team have also rescued a hunter from a swimming pool.
Read more about the work of animal rescue workers in 29 March edition of Horse & Hound