Firefighters save stricken horse from Read ditch

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FIREFIGHTERS rescued a horse trapped in a muddy ditch on a farm in Read.

The stricken animal had become stuck down banking on farmland off Back Lane on Sunday evening.

Specialist large animal rescue teams were drafted in the save horse which was struggling to get free.

The farmer managed to sedate it while nine firefighters tried to help haul it from the drainage ditch.

Watch Manager Neil Ashworth, of Burnley Fire Station, said: “The owners found it in the ditch – it had been in there for some time. It was quite an old horse and it was exhausted.

“We had to try to drag the horse out of the ditch but it was very difficult to get it out. The biggest problem was that the horse was laid on its side so it was hard slipping equipment under its body.

“There were nine firefighters there and we managed to pull it out between us with the help of the farmer.

“We had to use brute force but it was very controlled.”

The horse was eventually heaved out of the ditch after an hour and a half. The animal was exhausted but uninjured and was soon back on its feet.

Watch manager Ashworth paid tribute to the equipment and training of the specialist large animal rescue team in what he said could have been a potentially dangerous situation.

“One kick and it could kill you. There is a lot of safety and specialist kit we have that proved invaluable.
“The rescue was a success.”