Northampton

Northamptonshire firefighters praised for 'brilliant' horse rescue

Horse being rescued by Northamptonshire fire fighters
Image caption Station manager Mick Conlon photographed the two-hour rescue

Firefighters have been praised after the "brilliant" rescue of a horse wedged in a ditch in Northamptonshire.

Paul Black's horse Marcus slipped into the waterlogged ditch near Harringworth after a fellow rider's horse was "spooked" by cattle.

Crews using specialist equipment took two hours to rescue the animal.

Mr Black, who was unhurt, said: "Everyone who helped was brilliant. Marcus was a little dazed after, but is happy as Larry now."

Mr Black, 48, from Corby, said he had got his horse under control when it started to sit down on the edge of the ditch.

'Punch-drunk'

"I got off, and was coaxing him up, when he slipped on the mud. It was a freak accident," he said.

Image caption The horse was able to walk back to the stables after its ordeal

A passing gamekeeper called for help while Mr Black untacked the animal to keep him calm.

A vet, and crews from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the incident, which happened on Sunday morning.

Large animal rescue officer, Shayne Anderson, said: "The vet sedated him before we started the rescue, which made it safer for the crews.

"It was made more difficult because of water in the ditch.

"We had to put down heavy sheets to lift the horse's head, otherwise his nostrils would have been below the water," he added.

Marcus, a 16-year-old, took about 30 minutes to recover once back on dry land, and his owner then walked him back to the stables in Harringworth.

"He was a bit punch-drunk because of the sedative, but now he's recovered completely and is cantering around with his mates," Mr Black said.

"I just wanted to thank everyone at the fire service, the vet and the stable staff for doing such a great job."

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