Yearling rescued from ‘brink of death’ after bank fall

  • A yearling has been rescued from the “brink of death” after falling down a bank.

    Members of the public contacted the RSPCA and London Fire Brigade on Wednesday afternoon (18 December) after spotting a collapsed horse at the bottom of a bank in Belvedere, London.

    RSPCA animal collection officer Lisa Miller was among those who attended the rescue and feared the worst.

    “Sadly we are often called out to collapsed horses and find it’s too late and that they’ve died,” she said. “It’s so dangerous when horses go down and can’t get back up as their internal organs can fail under the weight of their own bodies.

    “When I got to the scene London Fire Brigade had just arrived and we were quickly able to tell that the pony was in a perilous situation.

    “He’d slipped down a muddy bank and was stuck, laying on his side, with his back legs caught around a tree and his front legs in the river. He’d been trying to get back to his feet and was exhausted; he was on the brink of death.”

    Once the pony had been sedated by a vet the team set to work.


    “Once he was sedated and calmer we were able to get the straps under him and start to winch him back up the bank,” said Ms Miller.

    “By this point it was dark and raining so the poor pony was cold and we had to work quickly but carefully so as not to hurt him. We eventually got him back to the top and got his sopping wet rug off him.

    “The fire brigade left and the vet and I stayed with him as he slowly came around. He was absolutely exhausted and we were worried that he wouldn’t recover from the ordeal but slowly he started to perk up and we eventually managed to heave him back up on to his feet.”

    The RSPCA left an abandonment notice at the site and removed the pony, since named named Frosty, for veterinary treatment.

    Rachel Atherton, from Lingfield Equine Vets, helped with the rescue.

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    “It was touch and go for Frosty overnight but he’s really perked up today and is doing really well,” she said on Thursday (19 December). “He hasn’t stopped eating and is now clean and happy. He is a real trooper.

    “There were a few points where I wasn’t sure whether he was going to make it but he’s proved he’s a little fighter. He’s a Christmas miracle.”

    Frosty will stay with the vets until he is strong enough to move to an RSPCA centre. If no one comes forward to claim him then he will be rehomed by the charity.

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