Trapped horse saved in dramatic rescue

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Trapped horse saved in dramatic rescue thumbnailThe Large Animal Rescue Team, from Omagh, attempt to rescue a horse from a ditch on the Gallan Bridge Road, Newtownstewart, on Sunday afternoon.

THE bravery and quick-thinking actions of the local Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue team have been praised after a horse was pulled to safety during a complex rescue operation in the Newtownstewart area on Sunday afternoon.

The Animal Rescue Team from Omagh, assisted by crews from Newtownstewart and Strabane, were called to the Gallan Bridge Road at approximately 2.30pm where two horses had become stuck in a ditch.

While one animal was quickly brought to safety, rescuing the other horse proved much more difficult for the team.

Local vet, Wendy Korte, who is based at Strule Vets in Newtownstewart, was called to sedate the horse.

"The animal needed to be sedated to ensure it was a safer operation for both the animal and the team carrying out the rescue," she explained.

"Horses can become extremely stressed out in such a situation and it can become very dangerous if they are not sedated, not only for the rescuers but for the animal. It was an extremely worrying and dangerous situation."

Once sedated, the team were able to attach a sling around the horse and using a tractor and front loader from a local farmer, the animal was able to be brought to safety. It is understood neither horse suffered any serious injuries. The successful operation was complete by approximately 4.20pm.

"The horses were not together in the first place but they both made their way to the ditch and I believe they must have been spooked by something, possibly a dog or something else," continued Wendy.

"The animals are fortunate to be alive. It was lucky that the horses were spotted in the ditch during the daylight. If the incident occurred during the night, well it doesn't bear thinking of.

"I am not the hero, the Animal Rescue Team are, and the local farmer also offered a great deal of help. The team were great and their expertise helped to save the life of the horse."


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