Firefighters from the West Midlands rescued a horse that had fallen into a freezing swimming pool yesterday morning (14 December).
The chestnut horse had slipped into the outdoor pool in the snow-covered gardens of a house in the West Midlands village Walsall Wood.
West Midlands Fire Service received a 999 call at 8.50am and sent out a crew from Wood Gate Valley Fire Station and another from Aldridge Fire Station.
A total of ten firefighters arrived at the scene and started pumping the icy water out of the pool.
A vet was called out to sedate the horse, who remained very calm throughout the operation.
A local farmer offered his services with a forklift truck but the technical rescue unit managed to winch the horse to safety.
The rescue operation took two hours to complete, after which the horse was taken to safety, luckily sustaining no injuries as a result of his ordeal.
“We’ve rescued horses from canals and from a building site before but never from a swimming pool,” said Matthew Smith, a spokesman for the West Midlands Fire Service. “It’s very unusual.”
The fire service posted a video of the final moments of the rescue, as the horse was winched out and placed back on to solid ground, on its Twitter account, adding: “We’re not horsing around… this really happened! This horse fell into a swimming pool off Castlehill Road, Walsall Wood. Extricated safely, and a vet confirmed it was in a stable condition. What a mare!”
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The technical rescue unit has a horse mannequin for training purposes to enable the crews practice all types of rescue.
“The more prepared we can be the more smoothly the rescues will go and the less distress will be cause to the animals,” said Mr Smith.
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