Firefighters rescue horse 'stuck in the mud' near Cropredy

Firefighters work together to save a horse stuck in a muddy ditch near Cropredy. Photo: Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Firefighters work together to save a horse stuck in a muddy ditch near Cropredy. Photo: Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters worked with a vet to safely rescue a horse which had become trapped in a muddy ditch in Cropredy yesterday (Wednesday, October 10).

A fire appliance from Banbury fire station was mobilised along with a specialist animal rescue team from Kidlington, and a four wheel drive off road vehicle from Abingdon at around 9.20am.

Heavy lifting strops were put around the mare to pull it out of the ditch. Photo: Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Heavy lifting strops were put around the mare to pull it out of the ditch. Photo: Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Upon arrival the crews were met by the daughter of the horse’s owner and a vet, who was on scene to assess the horse’s condition.

Banbury crew manager Morgan Staveley said: “Horses are herd animals so if they get into trouble and get stuck like this, they tend to ‘give up’.

"Once they get a sense of freedom, a docile animal will normally attempt to bolt to safety and away from danger and this can prove hazardous to bystanders.

"This makes close proximity working with such a large and powerful animal extremely dangerous to the rescue teams.

The horse was able to walk unaided after being saved from the mud. Photo: Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

The horse was able to walk unaided after being saved from the mud. Photo: Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

"As the ten-year-old mare was unable to free herself we used the knowledge of the specialist crew from Kidlington to formulate a plan to free her.

“The mare was sunk up to her hindquarters, and the suction effect of the mud made it difficult to release her legs.

"Utilising the specialist medical knowledge of the vet to keep the horse docile throughout the rescue, we were able to place heavy lifting strops around the mare, and then used the 4x4 to gently pull her free.”

Throughout the rescue, the vet continuously monitored the mare to ensure that her condition was not deteriorating.

After resting for a while to get over her ordeal once removed from the mud, the crews, vet and owner were extremely pleased to see her stand up and then walk unaided.